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Re: Distinguishing effects of venom from allergic reaction


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Posted by Trust on April 17, 2003 at 14:35:05:

In Reply to: Re: Distinguishing effects of venom from allergic reaction posted by BGF on April 17, 2003 at 08:57:08:

"I think to much credence has been put on the allergy side of things since people have a hard time accepting that the vast majority of colubrids are technically venomous. It is a venom, not a toxic saliva." - BGF

Hmm, sounds as if this has come up before. I didn't mean to imply there was a lack of venom, but just as with bee stings (which obviously inject venom, albeit one evolved for other reasons) some people have merely nominal reactions, and some people have severe reactions. I'm wondering if people can have similarly diverse reactions to colubrid venom, from individual to individual, based on characteristics of those individuals instead of the venom. I guess what I'm getting at is that because colubrid venom, in most instances, tend to be delivered in amounts well below lethal amounts, would we be more likely to see a broad range of reactions? For deadly snakes we don't because, for example, some snakes deliver a potentially lethal bite nearly every bite, so we see severe reactions among all individuals with bites of those species. Allergic reaction, I suppose is one type of reaction, but maybe there are ways to characterize differences in reaction among individuals that don't experience a medically-defined allergic reaction.

"Similarly, much has been made of H. gigas having an LD50 around that of Crotalus adamenteus. C. adamanteus has fairly weak venom, with the estimated human lethal dose being greater than 100 milligrams. Obviously an amount a false-water cobra would hit. It would be lucky to produce 10 mgs and normally would actually only deliver 1-2 mgs." - BGF

What is your opinion of the way in which colubrid venom works, compared to crotalid and elapid venom, in general? Do they operate similarly? Are there hemotoxic components, neurotoxic components, or is it too broad to make any generalizations?

Scott


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