Montivipera bornmuelleri is an endangered viper that has been described as endemic to the Lebanese mountains. The lethal dose 50% (LD50) of M. bornmuelleri venom has been determined by performing intravenous, intraperitoneal (IP), and subcutaneous injections. However, to date, intramuscular injection has not been performed to determine LD50, nor have the minimum hemorrhagic (MHD) or the minimum necrotic doses (MND) been evaluated. Thus, this study was conducted to complete the characterization of the M. bornmuelleri venom. Our results showed that intramuscularly injected LD50 is around 5.39 mg/kg, and IP LD50 is around 1.93 mg/kg. After intradermal injection, our findings showed significant necrotic and medium hemorrhagic activities, and MHD was around 250 µg/kg. By comparing with other local venomous snakes, these results indicate that the lethality of M. bornmuelleri venom is similar to that of Daboia palaestinae venom (IP LD50=1.9 mg/kg) and is higher than that of Macrovipera lebetina venom (IP LD50=7.58 mg/kg) and that the hemorrhagic activity of M. bornmuelleri venom is lower than that of the Macrovipera lebetina (MHD=200 µg/kg). On the other hand, necrotic activity was detected at low doses of injected venom: MND was estimated at 20 µg/kg. Altogether, our findings could extend the scope of characterization of M. bornmuelleri venom and provide useful data for further in vivo studies.
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Vol. 36 • No. 1