OSU Researchers Hope To Improve Antivenom Treatment

Wednesday, July 8th 2015, 7:01 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma has seven types of venomous snakes and research at the OSU Center for Health Sciences could make treating a bite more effective.

Dr. Charles Sanny is analyzing the effectiveness of antivenom to find the best treatment options for people bitten by venomous snakes.

“I'm looking at snake venoms and commercially available antivenoms," he said.

Sanny tests them using equipment in his lab at OSU.

Once analyzed, the computer produces chromatographs which show the effectiveness of the molecular complexes produced when the venom and anti-venom combine.

"The amount of decrease here shows it is effective," Sanny explained.

Finding the sweet spot will produce a more effective treatment.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7,000 to 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes every year; there are few deaths, but more often the bites produce grotesque looking wounds that can be bad enough to have lasting side effects like tissue loss and nerve damage.

Using a method called size exclusion chromatography Sanny analyzes how the venom and anti-venom bind together.

The two must bind effectively and the research could lead to a more effective anti-venom and that would produce better outcomes for doctors and their patients