A researcher at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa is studying the effectiveness of snake antivenom.
Dr. Charles Sanny at the OSU Center for Health Sciences hopes his study will improve treatment options for those bitten by a poisonous snake.
“Believe me, if you get bit by a poisonous snake such as a diamondback rattlesnake, you will be glad that an antivenom is available,” Dr. Charles Sanny said.
There are seven types of venomous snakes found Oklahoma, including cottonmouths and copperheads. According to the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information, the diamondback rattlesnake has the most potent venom.
Dr. Sanny is using a method called size exclusion chromatography, which analyzes how venom and antivenom bind together. He says the chemical interaction could hold clues on how to improve antivenom. The venom must bind with antivenom to provide any protection against death, Dr. Sanny said.
Every year, about 7,000-8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes in the U.S. according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with only an average of five deaths reported.
Currently, only one commercial antivenom is available in the U.S. for poisonous snakes.
To learn more about Dr. Sanny's research, visit Research Spotlight website.