Snakebite envenoming

News article 15 Sep 2017

LSTM’s Dr Robert Harrison from the Alistair Reid Venom Research Unit, has co-authored a primer about Snakebite envenoming looking at all aspects of this global issue.

Published this week in Nature Reviews Disease Primers, the article provides a global overview, looking at the epidemiology, the analysis of venom composition, including the technologies that are available for that analysis, as well as the clinical damage that different venoms can inflict on the human body. The paper looks at prevention for snakebite envenoming and the management of snakebite including the use of antivenom and additional supportive treatment.

The paper also looks at several recommendations for an integrated global strategy which includes the strengthening of health systems, investment in the improvement of existing antivenom treatments and the development of new ones as well as working in collaboration to implement a wide range of interventions in the control, prevention and treatment of snakebite envenoming.

Dr Harrison said: “Snakebite envenoming is a neglected tropical disease that results in the death of more than 95,000 people globally each year, many of whom reside in some of the world’s poorest communities. It is important that we understand the current picture of the problem and work collaboratively to ensure that the best possible interventions and medicines get to those people who need them the most.”