Laboratory evaluation of young ovines inoculated with natural or 60Co-irradiated Crotalus durissus terrificus venom during hyperimmunization process
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Laboratory profile of young ovines was studied in order to evaluate and compare their antiserum production from natural and Cobalt-60 irradiated Crotalus durissus terrificus (C.d.t.) venoms. The parameters analyzed included complete blood count, and urea, creatinine, aspartate aminotransferase, total proteins, albumin and globulin serum measurements. Three groups of six animals each were used. Group 1 (G1) received natural C.d.t. venom; Group 2 (G2) received irradiated C.d.t. venom; and Group 3 (G3) was used as control and did not receive venom, only adjuvants, using seven venom inoculations. During the experimental period, animals were fortnightly weighed. According to clinical and weight evaluation, sheep in post-weaning phase showed no changes in their physiological profiles but had excellent weight gain. The parameters analyzed were not statistically different (p<5%) among the groups tested. The hyperimmunization process was successfully accomplished with the production of specific antibodies against Crotalus durissus terrificus venom. Results bring a new possibility of utilizing ovines in the commercial production of anticrotalic serum, which may be used to treat human and animal envenomation. Its production cost may be reduced by subsequent use of hyperimmunized sheep for human consumption.