Past and Current Topics on Snakebite Research

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Venoms".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2023) | Viewed by 1731

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Emergency Medicine, Queens Hospital, Queen Mary University, London, UK
Interests: snakebite

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Snakebite envenoming has recently been recognized as a Category A neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization. This elevated status highlights the urgent need for increased research funding and improved access to antivenom, particularly in lower- and middle-income countries where vulnerable populations are most at risk.

Quantifying the burden of disease and its global impact is difficult since it is not a reportable disease in many countries. The true burden of snakebite is unknown due to under-reporting and incomplete data from scattered sources such as hospitals, government, and non-governmental organisations. The result inevitably underestimates the true snakebite burden. Global estimates suggest that there are 1–2 million snakebites per year, resulting in approximately 400,000 cases of morbidity and 100,000 deaths. The prohibitive cost of purified antivenoms and antivenom shortages pose significant health risks to affected populations. Furthermore, the management of snakebites requires expertise in a range of medical specialties, including prehospital care, emergency medicine, toxinology, critical care, surgery, injuries, and rehabilitation. The published research data on the clinical management of snakebites is generally observational, with few high-level randomised control trials presented in the scientific literature. The Editorial Team would like to invite you to publish your research in our upcoming Special Issue and hope that your contribution will add to the global knowledge on this important topic.

Dr. Darryl R. Wood
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • snakebite
  • envenomation
  • venom
  • antivenom
  • toxinology
  • emergency medicine
  • surgery
  • injuries

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Review

15 pages, 549 KiB  
Review
Clinical Risk Factors Associated with Poor Outcomes in Snake Envenoming: A Narrative Review
by Darryl Wood
Toxins 2023, 15(12), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15120675 - 28 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1394
Abstract
Snakebite-related fatalities disproportionately affect populations in impoverished socio-economic regions, marked by limited access to adequate healthcare and constrained antivenom availability. Early medical intervention is pivotal in mitigating mortality and morbidity associated with snakebite envenoming (SBE). While clinical assessment remains fundamental in treating SBE, [...] Read more.
Snakebite-related fatalities disproportionately affect populations in impoverished socio-economic regions, marked by limited access to adequate healthcare and constrained antivenom availability. Early medical intervention is pivotal in mitigating mortality and morbidity associated with snakebite envenoming (SBE). While clinical assessment remains fundamental in treating SBE, this review aims to spotlight objective parameters that could also affect outcomes. Selected studies that identify factors associated with poor outcomes are predominantly region-specific, single-site, and observational, yet collectively reveal similar findings. They consistently report factors such as treatment delays, susceptibility in vulnerable groups such as children and pregnant women, as well as various biochemical and haematological abnormalities. Acute kidney injury (AKI), low platelets, leucocytosis, abnormal coagulation, and elevated creatine kinase (CK) all show an association with poor outcomes. Furthermore, recognising rare and unusual SBE presentations such as adrenal insufficiency, severe hypertension, intracranial haemorrhage, acute angle closure glaucoma, and bowel ischaemia also has a bearing on outcomes. Despite the integration of these parameters into clinical decision tools and guidelines, the validation of this evidence is limited. This review underscores the imperative for high-quality, multi-centre studies aligned with consensus-driven Core Outcome Sets (COS) and Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS) to validate and strengthen the current evidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Past and Current Topics on Snakebite Research)
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