Global & Disaster Medicine

Black mamba: One of the most feared snake species of the African savanna.


In vivo neutralization of dendrotoxin-mediated neurotoxicity of black mamba venom by oligoclonal human IgG antibodies

Nature Communications volume 9, Article number: 3928 (2018)

“…..The black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) is one of the most feared snake species of the African savanna. It has a potent, fast-acting neurotoxic venom comprised of dendrotoxins and α-neurotoxins associated with high fatality in untreated victims. Current antivenoms are both scarce on the African continent and present a number of drawbacks as they are derived from the plasma of hyper-immunized large mammals…..”

  • “…Snakebite envenoming exacts a death toll of 80–150,000 victims each year, leaves approximately four times as many maimed for life1, and has recently been recognized as a Neglected Tropical Disease by the World Health Organization (WHO)….”
  • “:…..The notorious black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) from sub-Saharan Africa is a particularly dangerous species due to its size, defensive nature, and fast-acting neurotoxic venom. Life threatening clinical manifestations of D. polylepis envenoming include flaccid paralysis due to blockade of neuromuscular transmission resulting from inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the peripheral nervous system caused by α-neurotoxins (both short-chain and long-chain types) of the three-finger toxin superfamily….”

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The Black Mamba

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