First we will look at the effect of the venom on the blood clotting mechanism. There are many proteins present in the blood naturally, which are called clotting factors. The cascade below shows four steps in blood coagulation, which we will use to model the action of the venom. click on the number next to each line in order to see a more detailed description of the process.



Name Description
Factor X This factor is also known as the Stuart-Prower Factor and is one of the initiators in the coagulation cascade.
Complex Xa This is formed naturally in the body, by activating Factor X,  when coagulation is necessary. The venom, however, can form this complex when coagulation is not necessary.
Fibrinogen Fibrinogen is also known as factor I. It is a plasma protein, synthesized in the liver, which is involved in blood coagulation as the precursor of fibrin.
Fibrin Fibrin is an elastic, insoluble, whitish protein derived from fibrinogen by the action of thrombin proteolysis during clotting of blood
FDP Fibrinogen Degradation Products are proteins which dissolve the fibrin produced by the body.

RVV  [Step 1: Envenomation]

     XXaXa-ATIII   [Step 2: Activation]


                                   FibrinogenFibrin    Kidney    [Step 3: Clot Formation]


                                   FDPDigestion of Fibrin   [Step 4: Degredation]


As the venom diffuses into the blood stream, the steps shown above occur naturally. The net effect of the process is for the blood to become incoaguable, as shown in the picture below. the blood on the left is normal and has formed a clot, and the blood on the right is incoaguable and will not clot. [7]

Blood that will not clot