Reducing the impact of snakebite envenoming in Latin America and the Caribbean: achievements and challenges ahead
Gutiérrez, José María
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Snakebite envenoming constitutes an important public health problem in Latin America and some countries of the Caribbean. The advances and pending tasks in the study and control of this neglected tropical disease in this region are reviewed in the light of a roadmap proposed in 2006. Significant progress has been achieved in the study of snake venoms, particularly regarding venom proteomics, i.e.‘venomics’, and the analysis of the mechanism of action of toxins. Likewise, a deeper understanding has been gained in the preclinical efficacy of antivenoms produced in the region. In contrast, despite advances made in the study of clinical manifestations of envenomings and safety and efficacy of antivenoms at the clinical level, much remains to be done in this subject. Improvements have occurred in antivenom manufacturing technologies and availability, although there are still countries where there is insufficient supply of antivenoms, or where manufacture has to be improved. In spite of considerable efforts in some countries in prevention, accessibility to treatment, and training of health staff in the management of envenomings, important challenges remain for the region as a whole, with the long term goal of reducing the impact of this disease in terms of personal and social suffering.
- Microbiología