Background: An effective therapy against envenoming should be a priority in view of the high number scorpion stings and snakebites. Serum therapy is still widely applied to treat the envenomation victims; however this approach suffers from several shortcomings. The employment of monoclonal antibodies might be an outcome as these molecules are at the core of a variety of applications from protein structure determination to cancer treatment. The progress of activities in the twilight zone between genetic and antibody engineering have led to the development of a unique class of antibody fragments. These molecules possess several benefits and lack many possible disadvantages over classical antibodies. Within recombinant antibody formats, nanobodies or single domain antigen binding fragments derived from heavy chain only antibodies in camelids occupy a privileged position. Scope of review: In this paper we will briefly review the common methods of envenomation treatment and focus on details of various in vivo research activities that investigate the performance of recombinant, monoclonal nanobodies in venom neutralization. Major conclusions: Nanobodies bind to their cognate target with high specificity and affinity, they can be produced in large quantities from microbial expression systems and are very robust even when challenged with harsh environmental conditions. Upon administering, they rapidly distribute throughout the body and seem to be well tolerated in humans posing low immunogenicity. General significance: Scorpion and snake envenomation is a major issue in developing countries and nanobodies as a venom-neutralizing agent can be considered as a valuable and promising candidate in envenomation therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2955-2965
Number of pages11
JournalBBA General Subjects
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Envenomation, Nanobody, Scorpion, Snake, Toxin neutralization, VHH

ID: 45492288