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Forensic Sci Int. 2013 Oct 10;232(1-3):e12-23. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2013.08.013. Epub 2013 Aug 19.

Poisoning by toxic animals in China--18 autopsy case studies and a comprehensive literature review.

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  • 1Department of Forensic Medicine, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, 138 Yi Xue Yuan Road, Shanghai 200032, China. Electronic address: chenlong@shmu.edu.cn.


Although exposure to animal venom and poison, such as snakebites, bee stings, and contact, with toads, is a common problem, reported deaths are rare. The present report discusses 18 fatal cases in China. Causes of death were grouped into 6 categories, including 1 case of tetrodotoxin poisoning, 1 case of gallbladder poisoning, 3 cases of snake venom toxicity, 4 cases of melittin toxicity, 4 cases of cantharidin poisoning and 5 cases of venenum bufonis poisoning. The epidemiology of each venom-induced death, the mechanism of exposure to venom, and the target organs and tissues affected by these toxic animals were here systematically reviewed. Such details are important to even suspected cases of venom damage. The associated problems related to forensic medicine, such as manner of death and possible attribution to the toxic effects of various animals, are also discussed herein.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Autopsy; China; Poisoning; Toxic animals

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