f MG World Vision: Snake And Antivenom Research And Development Center In Gujarat State According The Guidelines Of WHO|

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Snake And Antivenom Research And Development Center In Gujarat State According The Guidelines Of WHO|

Snake And Antivenom Research And Development Center In Gujarat State According The Guidelines Of WHO|

    As per the report by the World Health Organization(WHO), approximately 58000 victims died due to poisonous snake bites in the world; out of which 70% of incidents occur in India, and only 30 percent of them can attend hospitals for medical treatment.


    Inguration Of The Antivenom Research And Development Center In Gujarat:

        To overcome this problem, in October 2019, environment minister Mr. Ganpat Vasava of The Government of Gujarat State announced the commencement of the Antivenom Research And Development Center at Dharampur town of Valsad district in Gujarat, India. The institute will strictly follow the guidelines of WHO and make the lionized powder for antivenom medicine as per the international standard.

        This antivenom research institute in Gujarat is the second unit in India; another institute is already operational in Chennai, Tamilnadu. The staff of Snake Research Institute extracts the poison from highly venomous serpents like the Cobra, Russell's Viper, Common Crate, Saw Scaled Viper, and many others in the categories found in the southern rural region of Gujarat state.     There are 3500 species of serpent/snake in the world, and 350 species (10%) are found in India. The Gujarat State has approximately 52 species of serpents. More than 40 venomous snakes of different species are found in the forest of South Gujarat. The Curators, veterinary doctors, technical staff, and consultants recruited in the institute to look after their health.

    By January 2023, this unit would have been operational.

    What is Antivenom?

        Antivenom is a composed of antibodies used for specific treatment for envenomation. It's also known as antivenin, venom antiserum, and antivenom immunoglobulin.

    The process of making antivenom powder:

        The institute prepares the powder from the poison. This powder can be preserved for many years. This powder then injected into small doses every month in a healthy horse, which is a process of six months. Powder injected into the horse's blood act as an antigen, and creates antibodies. The blood cells containing these antibodies are then re-injected into the horse's body to get the plasma. This plasma helps to prepare antivenom injections. After collecting the venom, the powder will be made by the lionizer process. The powder will be supplied to antivenom injection manufacturing companies. Also, the antivenom injections will be donated to Governmental Medical Institutions.

    The success ratio of this injection is 99.99%. The researchers hope that the death rate due to snake bites will reduce remarkably.

    Which species are kept in the antivenom research institution?

    The description of some venomous species of serpent found in India is given below.


    Image of Indian Cobra.
    Indian Cobra.

        This specie varies in length, and comparatively, they are thin. They could be 1.84 m (6.0 ft) to 3.1 m (10 ft) in length. They can raise 1/4th of their body above the ground. They have two longer teeth to inject the poison into the enemy. Cobras can spit but not the Indian species.

    From the Cobra, the 150 mg of poison is extracted once a week.

    Russell's Viper-

    Image of Russell_Viper.

        The head of Russell's Viper looks distinct from the rest of the body, and the eyes are large and yellow or gold in color. The body is heavy with the color pattern of a deep yellow, tan, or brown ground color, with dark brown spots which have a black ring around them. The length of the body of an adult Russell's viper is up to 166 cm (65 in) in the Indian region.

    From Russell's Viper, 100 mg of poison is extracted once a month.

    Common Krait-

    Image of the Common Krait.
    Common Krait.

        The average length of the common krait is 0.9 m (2 ft 11 in) to 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in), and male snakes are longer. The head of the Common krait is simple in shape without loreals and flat. The neck is not easily visible. The body is like a pipe in shape, and the tail is thin. Their eyes of them are smaller with rounded pupils. They are generally black or bluish-black, and the belly is white.

    From Common Krait, only 07 mg of poison is extracted once a month.

    Saw Scaled Viper-

    Image of the Saw Scaled Viper.
    Saw Scaled Viper.

        The Saw Scaled Vipers are 38 to 80 cm (15 to 31 inches) long. The head looks distinct with a neck, and the snout is very short and rounded. It resembles Russell's viper, but the species is different.

    From Saw Scaled Viper, 15 mg of poison is extracted once a month.

    The other Antivenom Research Centers of India: 

        Besides the antivenom center of Gujarat, the one is already operational in Chennai, Tamilnadu State.
    Two more projects were in the pipeline, at the Bengaluru of Karnatak State and the Nasik of Maharashtra State. (see links below).

    List of Antivenom manufacturing companies:

    1. Bharat Serums & Vaccines Ltd.
    2. VINS Bio-Products Ltd.
    3. Premium Serums & Vaccines Ltd.
    4. Haffkine Bio- Pharmaceutical Corporation Ltd.
    5. Virchow Biotech Private Limited.
    6. Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd.
    7. Central Research Institute, Kasauli.
    8. Biological E. Ltd.
    9. Human Biogical Institute.

    Useful Links:

    Video of extracting venom from the snake:

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