January 26, 2023

Tackling pathogenic fungal resistance to contemporary fungicides is a key challenge across multiple sectors of society. 

Peptides naturally produced by venomous animals – such as snakes, spiders and scorpions – offer a novel approach to developing high affinity-based solutions for both research and industrial applications. 

In a 2020 paper published in Letters in Applied Microbiology, Verheecke-Vassen et al outlined the importance of exploring venom proteomes as an alternative source of compounds within drug discovery, from an anti-fungal perspective.

Proof of concept: could snake venoms be a potential source of bioactive compounds for control of mould growth and mycotoxin production – PubMed (nih.gov)

Five fungal species across the genera Penicillium, Fusarium and Aspergillus were studied for their acute mycotoxigenic abilities. 

Venomtech’s diverse venom supply chain was able to offer Cranfield University, in conjunction with Universidade Nova de Lisboa and University of Hertfordshire, a comprehensive screen of crude venom from 10 snake species across 8 genera. Two lead species (Naja nigricollis, Naja siamensis) were identified whose venom was found to have fungicidal potential. 

Furthermore, these institutions continued to collaborate with Venomtech into a second research phase by requesting expert RP-HPLC (reverse phase – high performance liquid chromatography) consultation and fulfilment services.  

Fascinatingly, 83 out of 84 of the fractions produced from this work induced >90% reduction in mycotoxin production in two of the fungi studied. 

Not only does this research indicate the underutilised potential of venom peptides to resolve more complex challenges within medicine and agriculture, but also highlights how Venomtech has contributed towards realising such opportunities. 

Venomtech would like to take this opportunity to thank our existing customers and we look forward to working with new customers in the future.

If you have a paper published using our products, please let us know at [email protected].

Photo by Herpingthailand.com