Table of Contents
ISRN Toxicology
Volume 2013, Article ID 247645, 5 pages
Research Article

Cross-Reactivity against Naja sumatrana (Black Spitting Cobra) Envenoming from the Haffkine Antivenom in a Mouse Model

1Emergency Medicine Department, Alexandra Hospital, 378 Alexandra Road, Singapore 159964
2Singapore Zoological Gardens, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
3Centre for Quantitative Medicine, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, 8 College Road, Singapore 169857
4Venom and Toxin Research Programme, Department of Anatomy, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 4 Medical Drive, Block MD10, Singapore 117597

Received 8 June 2013; Accepted 11 July 2013

Academic Editors: F. Ducancel, B. K. Mandal, and A. Pessina

Copyright © 2013 Gregory Cham 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.


Naja sumatrana is the dominant cobra species in Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, and Sumatra, and it does not have specific antivenom. The Haffkine antivenom has been advocated instead. This study aims to determine the efficacy of this antivenom against Naja sumatrana envenoming using a mouse model. Methods. Male Swiss albino mice were used. Intravenous LD50 was first determined separately for Naja naja and Naja sumatrana venom. ED50 was determined by preincubating antivenom with each venom at 2.5 LD50 before administering the mixture into the tail vein. Validation was carried out using a challenge test. Each mouse received 111 µg of Naja sumatrana venom intramuscularly followed by intraperitoneal administration of dilute Haffkine antivenom. Survival was recorded 24 hours after envenoming. Results. The LD50 of Naja naja venom was 78.13 µg, standard error (SE) 13.3 µg. The ED50 of the Haffkine antivenom against Naja naja venom was 45.9 mg, SE 7.5 mg. The LD50 and ED50 of Naja sumatrana venom were 55.5 µg, SE 12.0 µg; and 73.9 mg, SE 12.0 mg, respectively. The intra-peritoneal ED50 against 111 µg intramuscular Naja sumatrana venom was 136.95 mg, SE 36.74 mg. Conclusion. The Haffkine polyvalent antivenom exhibited cross-neutralisation against Naja sumatrana venom when used at a higher dose.