For people in the United States and Europe, suffering from a snakebite is rare, and it’s hardly ever fatal. Australia is known for its deadly and venomous snakes, but snakebites only account for a small number of annual deaths. However, in Sub-Saharan Africa, an average of 270,000 people are bitten every year. About 12,300 of them result in death, while 14,700 result in amputation, and 55,000 results in post-traumatic stress.
Snakebite Venom Treatments
One approach to snakebite venom treatment includes horse-derived antibodies. However, it can sometimes also put the patient at greater risk. This is so because the horse-derived antibodies can be recognized as foreign by the human immune system.
Due to this, over the past decade, many researchers have looked into taking horses out of the equation. This could potentially make antivenoms safer and more affordable. One approach includes “humanized” antibodies that can be produced in a lab by replacing the ends of human antibody genes with some venom-naturalizing parts so that the human body won’t perceive them as foreign.
There is also hope to discover fully human antibodies that can be effective. With either approach, chances are that at least 90% of the side effects will be removed.
Antivenom Without Animal Antibodies
By producing snakebite antivenom without antibodies from animals, it can also lower the production costs. Antivenom is currently one of the most expensive drugs in rural areas, which can make it tough for patients to get their hands on it.
Many patients in the world can be saved by antivenom; however, they may not be able to afford it. If the government in the area doesn’t keep clinics fully stocked with free medicine, patients can die.
Antivenoms without animals can naturalize venomous toxins and save lives at a more affordable cost. There are also options to use existing drugs as snakebite treatments.