New Delhi: Snakebite, which is a neglected public health concern, causes nearly 50,000 deaths in India every year. Four snake varieties – Indian Cobra, Russel’s viper, saw-scaled viper and Indian common krait are mostly responsible for most snakebite deaths. The currently available anti-venoms are effective for treating people bitten by these snakes. But venom composition of snakes varies across geography and there is a need to study venom of snakes from different regions to help make region-specific anti-venoms.
Now a new study by scientists from Tezpur University in Assam has cautioned that commonly used anti-venoms are not effective in the case of South Indian kraits. The researchers have profiled the venom from kraits found in South India and found that it had some noxious proteins which commonly used anti-venoms do not recognize and neutralize.
Indian common krait (B. caeruleus) is one of the medically important venomous snakes in the subcontinent and accounts for a large number of snakebite deaths and illness.