Dose and time dependence of box jellyfish antivenom

Andreosso, Athena, Smout, Michael J., and Seymour, Jamie E. (2014) Dose and time dependence of box jellyfish antivenom. Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases, 20. 34. pp. 1-5.

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The effectiveness of the currently available box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) antivenom has been subject of debate for many years. To assess whether the box jellyfish antivenom has the ability to attenuate venom-induced damage at cellular level, the present study analyzed the dose and time dependence of the antivenom in a cell-based assay.


Different doses of antivenom were added to venom and subsequently administered to cells and the cell index was measured using xCelligence Technology (ACEA Biosciences). Similarly, antivenom and venom were incubated over different time periods and cell survival measured as stated above. For both experiments, the cell index was plotted as a measure of cell survival against the dose or incubation time and significance was determined with the use of a one-way ANOVA with a LSD post hoc test.


Increasing concentrations of antivenom significantly augmented cell survival, with a concentration of approximately five times the currently recommended dose for human envenomation, causing the first significant increase in cell survival compared venom alone. Further, cell survival improved with increasing incubation time of venom and antivenom prior to addition to the cells, indicating that box jellyfish antivenom requires approximately 70 minutes to neutralize C. fleckeri venom.


The presented results suggest that the currently recommended dose of antivenom requires adjustment, and more importantly, a human trial to test the effects of higher concentrations is also necessary. Further, antivenom has delayed neutralizing effects (i.e. after 70 minutes) which underlines the eminence of immediate and prolonged cardiopulmonary resuscitation in victims suffering from a C. fleckeri venom-induced cardiovascular collapse.

Item ID: 36165
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1678-9199
Keywords: Chironex fleckeri, antivenom, venom, dose-response curve
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© 2014 Andreosso et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 11:41
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1108 Medical Microbiology > 110803 Medical Parasitology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 100%
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