Redi award lecture: Clinical studies of snake-bite in four tropical continents

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Abstract

Research is discussed in the areas of venomous snake taxonomy, epidemiology, species diagnosis, defining the clinical phenotype of human envenoming, pathophysiological mechanisms of envenoming, clinical testing of antivenoms and prevention of snake-bite through community education. This work was carried out over the past 40 years in many countries in four tropical continents. The help and friendship of a large number of collaborators is gratefully acknowledged.

Highlights:

▸ Clinical studies of snake-bite carried out in four tropical continents are reviewed. ▸ Results of a recent study in India indicate about 50,000 snake-bite deaths each year. ▸ Clinical manifestations of elapid bites that are at variance with textbook accounts are presented. ▸ Understanding pathophysiological mechanisms can lead to improved care of envenomed patients. ▸ Prevention of snake-bites through community education is a priority.

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