Background: A snake bite is fundamentally an injury often resulting in puncture
wounds meted out by the animal's fangs and occasionally resulting in envenomation. Rate of
snake bites around 5,400,000 bites per year leads to over 2,500,000 envenomings and around
125,000 fatal cases annually. Snake venom enzymes are rich in metalloproteinases, phospholipaseA2,
proteinases, acetylcholinesterases and hyaluronidases.
Objective: Cyphostemma adenocoule is traditionally being used for the treatment of snake
bites in Eritrea. The present research was aimed at evaluating the snake venom enzyme inhibition
activity of C. adenocoule against puff adder venom and developing a base for the traditional
use of the plant against snakebites in Eritrea.
Methods: The anti-venom activity of C. adenocoule was assessed in-vitro through phospholipaseA2
enzyme inhibition assay using egg yolk as a cell. The ethanol and chloroform extracts
of C. adenocoule showed in vitro anti phospholipase A2 activity, whereas the water
extracts of the plant showed no activity.
Results: Among the extracts of C. adenocoule, the highest percentage of inhibition was obtained
from chloroform extract (95.55% at 100mg/ml). The extract showed prominent activity
at different concentrations (34.7% at10mg/ml, 48.8% at 20mg/ml, 54.8% at 40mg/ml,
60.9% at 60mg/ml, 80.5% at 80mg /ml). The ethanol extract also showed certain activity at
various concentrations (25.22% at10mg/ml, 14.78% at 20mg/ml, 2.6% at40mg/ml). The activity
of the chloroform extracts increases as concentration increases, whereas the activity of
the ethanol extracts decreases as concentration increases. The aqueous extract of C. adenocoule
did not show any activity at all concentrations.
Conclusion: In this study, the chloroform and ethanol extracts of the plant inhibited the enzyme
of interest and thus proved the efficacy of anti-snake venom activity of the plant.