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Bull Soc Pathol Exot. 2012 Aug;105(3):175-8. doi: 10.1007/s13149-012-0232-2. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

Incidence of snakebites in Kaltungo, Gombe State and the efficacy of a new highly purified monovalent antivenom in treating snakebite patients from January 2009 to December 2010.

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Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Nigeria.


Between 2009 and 2010 there were increasing incidences of snakebites in Kaltungo, Gombe State, Nigeria. Most of the cases presented were treated with the clinically approved drug of choice for snakebite, the EchitabĀ® antisnake venom (ASV) at the Kaltungo Treatment Centre which was manufactured by MicroPharm Ltd, UK and produced in collaboration with the Liverpool School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. A total of 5,367 snakebite victims were treated for the two years under review with 82 deaths recorded. This gives a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 1.52% compared to CFR of 35-45% before treatment with this ASV. It was also noted that only one dose of this ASV is needed to effectively clear the venom in a victim while other ASVs needed up to six doses or more to clear the venom. This result obtained shows that this antivenom compares favourably with other antivenoms designed for use in Africa with respect to neutralization of the toxins present in the venom of Echis ocellatus. Caprylic acid fractionation of horse hyperimmune plasma is a simple, convenient and cheap protocol for the manufacture of high quality whole IgG antivenoms. It constitutes a potentially valuable technology for the alleviation of the critical shortage of antivenom in Africa.

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