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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6592820, 10 pages
Review Article

Snake Venom PLA2, a Promising Target for Broad-Spectrum Antivenom Drug Development

Department of Biochemistry, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Chunhong Huang; nc.ude.ucn@gnauhhc

Huixiang Xiao and Hong Pan contributed equally to this work.

Received 5 September 2017; Accepted 30 October 2017; Published 29 November 2017

Academic Editor: Ji-Fu Wei

Copyright © 2017 Huixiang Xiao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Snakebite envenomation is a neglected global health problem, causing substantial mortality, disability, and psychological morbidity, especially in rural tropical and subtropical zones. Antivenin is currently the only specific medicine for envenomation. However, it is restricted by cold storage, snakebite diagnosis, and high price. Snake venom phospholipase A2s (svPLA2s) are found in all kinds of venomous snake families (e.g., Viperidae, Elapidae, and Colubridae). Along with their catalytic activity, svPLA2s elicit a wide variety of pharmacological effects that play a pivotal role in envenomation damage. Hence, neutralization of the svPLA2s could weaken or inhibit toxic damage. Here we overviewed the latest knowledge on the distribution, pathophysiological effects, and inhibitors of svPLA2s to elucidate the potential for a novel, wide spectrum antivenom drug targeting svPLA2s.