Snakebite envenoming is a priority Neglected Tropical Disease that causes an estimated 81,000–135,000 fatalities each year. The development of a new generation of safer, affordable, and accessible antivenom therapies is urgently needed. With this goal in mind, rigorous characterisation of the specific toxins in snake venom is key to generating novel therapies for snakebite. Monoclonal antibodies directed against venom toxins are emerging as potentially strong candidates in the development of new snakebite diagnostics and treatment. Venoms comprise many different toxins of which several are responsible for their pathological effects. Due to the large variability of venoms within and between species, formulations of combinations of human antibodies are proposed as the next generation antivenoms. Here a high-throughput screening method employing antibody-based ligand fishing of venom toxins in 384 filter-well plate format has been developed to determine the antibody target/s The approach uses Protein G beads for antibody capture followed by exposure to a full venom or purified toxins to bind their respective ligand toxin(s). This is followed by a washing/centrifugation step to remove non-binding toxins and an in-well tryptic digest. Finally, peptides from each well are analysed by nanoLC-MS/MS and subsequent Mascot database searching to identify the bound toxin/s for each antibody under investigation. The approach was successfully validated to rapidly screen antibodies sourced from hybridomas, derived from venom-immunised mice expressing either regular human antibodies or heavy-chain-only human antibodies (HCAbs).
Toxicon: X

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Staff publications

Slagboom, Julien, Lewis, Abigail H., Schouten, Wietse M., van Haperen, Rien, Veltman, Mieke, Bittenbinder, M., … Kool, Jeroen. (2024). High throughput identification of human monoclonal antibodies and heavy-chain-only antibodies to treat snakebite. Toxicon: X, 21(100185). doi:10.1016/j.toxcx.2024.100185