Search for a highly potent anti-snake venom

Search for a highly potent anti-snake venom:

Context:

  • Research on venom of snakes

What is the news all about?

  • The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT) is researching the venom of snakes from different Indian regions in order to create a highly potent Anti Snake Venom (ASV).

What is the importance of this project?

  • Besides mortality, snakebite survivors often have to live with severe morbidity, including tissue damage and necrosis, amputations, and kidney failure.
  • The aim of the ongoing research project is to determine the efficacy of the existing ASV against these venoms collected from various parts of the country
  • Four snake species cause the most number of snakebite deaths in India
  • A highly potent  Anti Snake Venom (ASV) is crucial for two reasons:
  1. It will offer better relief for snakebite victims
  2. It will reduce the quantity of ASV required for treatment

What are the challenges?

  • Producing ASV is a tedious process that involves injecting venom from four different species of snakes into horses.
  • One horse can produce up to 50 vials of ASV depending on the weight of the animal.
  • There is only one venom extraction centre in the country, in Tamil Nadu which functions under the aegis of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Tamil Nadu
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