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Evaluation of in vitro neutralization of epoxyscillirosidine by antibodies raised in sheep

Hamza Ibrahim Isa, Gezina Catharina Helena Ferreira, Jan Ernst Crafford, Christoffel Jacobus Botha
Toxicon: Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology 2019 April 1
Intoxication by Moraea pallida Bak. (yellow tulp) in livestock is of great importance in South Africa, ranking top among all plant-induced cardiac glycoside toxicosis. The toxic principle, a bufadienolide, is 1α, 2α-epoxyscillirosidine. Treatment of poisoning is challenging and affected livestock often succumbs due to the stress of handling. Manipulating animals to resist poisoning is a potential management strategy. The goal of this study was to explore the potential to develop a vaccine against epoxyscillirosidine by raising antibodies against epoxyscillirosidine in sheep and to assess the neutralization ability of the antibodies in vitro. Epoxyscillirosidine was successfully conjugated to keyhole limpet haemocyanin (KLH) and bovine serum albumin (BSA) rendering them immunogenic. The sheep, vaccinated with epoxyscillirosidine-KLH conjugate (n = 4) and KLH (n = 2) with Montanide, developed antibodies as determined with an indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Total immunoglobulins from sera of vaccinated and control sheep that were purified and concentrated using ammonium sulphate precipitation were 11,940 and 7850 μg, respectively. The in vitro neutralization assay using the methyl blue tetrazolium bromide (MTT) cell viability assay indicated no significant difference (p > 0.05) between anti-epoxyscillirosidine-KLH and KLH antibodies. Rather, the antibodies seemed to enhance the cytotoxicity of epoxyscillirosidine in H9c2 cells. Thus, it is necessary to develop improved vaccination methods to generate antibodies capable of neutralizing the functional group responsible for epoxyscillirosidine toxicity.


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