LD50 rating for European vipers

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LD50 rating for European vipers

Postby Paul Lambourne » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:39 am

Hello,

I have just read an article in this months Reptilia magazine, on the LD50 levels of some of the European snakes.. and I am some what surprised at the results.. these seem to disagree with results I have seen published in other reports.

Can anyone point me to a bench mark reference for the ld50 levels.

Kind regards

Paul
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Re: LD50 rating for European vipers

Postby Gerald Ochsenhofer » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:04 pm

Here are some:
http://www.venomdoc.com/LD50/LD50men.html

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Re: LD50 rating for European vipers

Postby Paul Lambourne » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:42 pm

Gerald

Many thanks.

Kind regards

Paul
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Re: LD50 rating for European vipers

Postby Will Atkins » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:08 pm

It's been a long time since this topic was last discussed, I think...

so, apologies if I am going over old ground but I stumbled across this website:

http://snakedatabase.org/pages/LD50.php

which seems to show Vipera berus as being more dangerous (as defined by LD50IV on mice, at least...) than, say Vipera aspis (relative values are 0.55mg/kg and 1.0mg/kg respectively).

Now I know there are lots of caveats - LD50 for mice does not equate to LD50 for human beings, for one. According to this site, though, both aspis and berus yield 18mg of venom when milked, so maybe we can discount differences in quantities of venom injected during a bite (a big maybe, perhaps, since 'capacity' and 'volume' are not always the same thing...)

If the site is correct, then berus is placed quite near some much more 'deadly' snakes - Montivipera xanthina has a LD50IV of 0.61mg/kg.

My questions are:

1 - does this site contain valid information?
2 - how would you rate the danger of berus compared with other species of viper? - the link above (from 2011!) seems no longer to work. Does anyone have a definitive ranking for LD50's in European vipers - maybe something has been published since 2011?

Grateful for any thoughts/ leads, as ever.
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Re: LD50 rating for European vipers

Postby Mario Schweiger » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:46 pm

seems to be correct!
I've heard from a berus bite in Swiss alps, which has been quite serious.
An asp bite in nearly the same locality was harmless.
I know, there are differences: dry bite vs. full bite, different tooth length, different weight (= not so deep bites in more light specimens [e = mc²]), etc.

But at this table I'm wondering in some data, for example
Atractaspis, all sp. 0,06 mg/kg i.v.
with exception A. dahomeyensis 2240 mg/kg i.v., with an amount of 1 mg/snake you have to get thousands of bites of this species :oops:
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Please visit also my personal Herp-site vipersgarden.at
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Re: LD50 rating for European vipers

Postby Will Atkins » Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:06 pm

thank you Mario. I'm interested in the idea of such a large intraspecific variation for, say, different populations of berus. I wonder if detailed analysis of venom composition could be used for taxonomic purposes (I guess venom = protein cocktail = genes to code for the proteins)?
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Re: LD50 rating for European vipers

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:13 pm

Will Atkins wrote:thank you Mario. I'm interested in the idea of such a large intraspecific variation for, say, different populations of berus. I wonder if detailed analysis of venom composition could be used for taxonomic purposes (I guess venom = protein cocktail = genes to code for the proteins)?


I know way too little about this interesting topic, but what I can add is that I believe that V. aspis zinnikeri was shown to have different (and more potent) venom composition, right?
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Re: LD50 rating for European vipers

Postby Niklas Ban » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:10 pm

The variation in venom is so huge in even one species, that this lists are very imprecisely without exact location and subspecies.
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Re: LD50 rating for European vipers

Postby Will Atkins » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:16 pm

@ Jeroen - yes, I have read the same. I wonder if anyone has done what you could call a 'venom profile' for each species / subspecies / population using a technique like spectroscopy / gas chromatography so you could compare / contrast peaks of various protein components of the venoms ?

@Niklas - sure, agreed - but this begs the question as to why there is so much intraspecific variation in venom - surely not differences in feeding (eg mammal prey rather than reptile) ? maybe genetic drift ? founder effects ?
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Re: LD50 rating for European vipers

Postby Niklas Ban » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:27 pm

Will Atkins wrote: is so much intraspecific variation in venom - surely not differences in feeding (eg mammal prey rather than reptile) ? maybe genetic drift ? founder effects ?

I am pretty sure there are more answers to that, but there are a selection factors which give some populations advantages when they have a less potent or more potent venom. Simple evolution might be the best answer to that. :lol:
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