Myanmar Health Sciences Research Journal
Original Articles :
Myanamr Health Research Registration 2022; 34(1-3): 77-82.

Immunization of Rabbits with Myanmar Green Pit Viper (Trimeresurus erythrurus) Venom

Khin Than Yee1*, Lawan Chanhome2, Su Myat Htwe1, Htet Htet Lwin1, Nwe Ni Aung1, Phu Pwint War1, Zaw Myint1 and Zaw Than Htun1

Myanmar Health Sciences Research Journal, Vol. 34, No. 1-3, 2022


Green pit viper (Trimeresurus spp.) is a medically important venomous snake in Myanmar especially in Yangon, Mandalay and Magwe Divisions. Biological assays of Myanmar green pit viper venom showed coagulation, hemorrhagic and lethal activities in animals. Both local and systemic lethal effects are seen in human victims. Development of coagulopathy and acute kidney injury would lead to shock in patients. Antivenom for Myanmar green pit viper is not available yet. The present study was done for small scale production of monospecific antibodies against Myanmar green pit viper venom in rabbits was conducted. Immunization was performed in two adult rabbits at initial dose of 50 µg/kg subcutaneously. Thereafter, stepwise increment venom dosed up to 150 µg/kg during a 3-month period. Their antibody levels were monitored by indirect ELISA during the experiment of 8 months. The efficacy of the monospecific antiserum was tested with immunodiffusion and immunoblotting. Antibodies reached its peak at 8 weeks after first immunization. Boostering at 13 weeks resulted in maintaining its peak throughout the study period.



Green pit viper (Trimeresurus spp.) bite had an incidence of 4% bites per year in the period of 1998-2000 (data from 87 hospitals in Myanmar).1 In addition, it accounted for 16% of the snake bite cases admitted to Yangon General Hospital between January 1999 to April 2001 and 64% of them were bitten in Bahan Township.2 The green snakes contributed the second most cases (62/965 cases) after Russell’s viper bites in a prospective study (February 2016 to January 2017) at Mandalay General Hospital.3


Venoms and antivenom

Myanmar green pit vipers were kept and collected their venom and skin from Zoological Garden, Yangon, Myanmar. The shed skin were used for species identification. The venom collected was freeze-dried at Department of Medical Research (DMR), Yangon, Myanmar. The pooled venom was used for raising antibodies in laboratory animals. Thai green pit viper venom (TGPV) and antivenom (Anti-TGPV) were purchased from the Snake Farm, Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute (QSMI), Bangkok, Thailand. Myanmar Russell’s viper and Myanmar cobra venoms were purchased from Pharmaceutical Factory (Insein), Myanmar Pharmaceutical Enterprise, Yangon.



The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Hlaing Myat Thu, Deputy Director General, DMR, Myanmar for her kind guidance on the manuscript submission.


The authors declared that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.


1. Aye Aye Myint, Tun Pe & Tin Zar Maw. An epidemiological study of snakebite and venomous snake survey in Myanmar. In: Management of Snakebite and Research. WHO, Regional Office for Southeast Asia, New Delhi, 2002; 12-16.

 2. Tun Pe, Tin Myint, Aung Htut, Than Htut, Aye Aye Myint & Nu Nu Aung. Envenoming by Chinese krait (Bungarus multicinctus) and banded krait (B. fasciatus) in Myanmar. Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 1997; 91: 686-8.

 3. White J, Alfred S, Bates D, M ahmood MA, Warrell D, Cumming R, et al. Twelve month prospective study of snakebite in a major teaching hospital in Mandalay, Myanmar; Myanmar Snakebite Project (MSP). Toxicon X 2019; 1:100002.