DNA Snake identification on bite

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DNA Snake identification on bite

Postby SABOAMAN » Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:24 pm

I found this article in Beeld about snake identification from DNA samples at the bite. Very interesting research indeed.

http://www.netwerk24.com/nuus/2014-11-0 ... ng-jou-pik

Wanneer 'n slang iemand pik is dit nie maklik om te bepaal watter spesie dit was nie, maar tydens 'n kliniese studie het wetenskaplikes dit reggekry met DNS.


In dié eerste studie van sy soort het navorsers 'n DNS-monster met 'n wattestokkie geneem van die bytmerk en elke keer die spesie korrek geïdentifiseer.

Die navorsing is op die jaarvergadering van die Amerikaanse Vereniging van Tropiese Geneeskunde en Higiëne bekend gemaak.

Drie gesondheidsentrums in Nepal het aan die studie deelgeneem en daar is bevind indien die slang se DNS van die wond geïsoleer kan word, dit die spesie in 100% van die gevalle kon identifiseer. Dit kan in die toekoms die behandeling van pasiënte aansienlik verbeter.

Slangbyte is die grootste probleem in Afrika, Suidoos-Asië en Suid-Amerika. Daar is jaarliks amptelik 421 000 byte met 91 000 sterftes. Maar kenners waarsku dat dit aansienlik meer kan wees omdat sommige mense nooit by 'n dokter uitkom nie. Daar kan miljoene mense wees wat deur slange gebyt word en in Indië alleen het navorsing getoon die amptelike dodetal daar is 46 000, hoewel dit eintlik 20 keer hoër is.

Baie mense kry nie mediese hulp nie en word gestremd gelaat, omdat ledemate geamputeer moet word.

Tydens die DNS-studie was daar 194 gevalle van slangbyte en 87 was giftig. Maar net 21 mense het die slange saam met hulle na die hospitaal gebring.


Die navorsers, verbonde aan die Universiteitshospitaal in Genève, Switserland is besig om 'n vinnige diagnose-toets te ontwikkel, soortgelyk aan 'n swangerskaptoets.

Dit sal sekere gifsoorte of uitskakel of identifiseer, sodat dokters nie vir 'n bepaalde simptome hoef te wag voordat hulle met behandeling begin nie

The same information in an English publication

http://www.scienceworldreport.com/artic ... victim.htm

Scientists may have found a way to identify exactly what type of snake has bitten a victim. They've developed a DNA test that could save lives in countries where snakebites can be deadly.

When it comes to treating a victim of a snakebite, knowing exactly what kind of snake did the biting is crucial. You need to know what species of snake bit the patient in order to properly treat them.

In order to develop a new method to identify what snake bit a victim, the researchers collected 194 DNA samples from bite sites on snakebite victims in Nepal. In 21 cases, the patients brought the dead snake that had bitten them to the treatment center, so that the researchers could verify the source of the bite, according to LiveScience.

The researchers then used these DNA samples in order to help identify snake DNA from fang marks on victims. In fact, the researchers discovered that the species of snake could be pinpointed every time, according to HealthDay.

"Most people are unaware that snakebite is a very real and serious threat both to the health and economic vitality of rural communities throughout much of the developing world," said Alan J. Magill, president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, who was not involved in the study, in a statement. "This innovative research may be enabling for the development of a point-of-care test to positively identify biting snakes."

The findings were presented at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's annual meeting in New Orleans.
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Re: DNA Snake identification on bite

Postby Ruan Stander » Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:50 pm

Now that's nifty, can't believe someone didn't think of it a long time ago.
I'm just wondering about those statistics. 91 000 confirmed deaths from snake bite ? I'm not convinced.
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Re: DNA Snake identification on bite

Postby Westley Price » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:34 am

Very cool, and the key to making this practical is to get the "vinnige diagnose-toets" to be very "vinnig."

I appreciate that they conducted the practical experiments in Nepal, but more realistic trails would be good where a patient was bitten say 24h ago or even a few hours ago and to see if they can still get some viable DNA from the bite site.

Or even just a test on a dummy to see how long DNA remains viable on a typical bite site (of course this will vary from species to species and even from bite to bite, but just to get an idea).

Often in many rural areas it takes bite victims a few hours to a few days to get to decent hospitals and clinics.
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Re: DNA Snake identification on bite

Postby Blet » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:53 am

Snakebite id kits have been out for years in Australia and is widely used in human and veterinary medicine. In our case we have Boomslang and Polyvalent serum and these types of tests will only be useful in determining need for antiserum treatment or not (in the case where no id could be made).
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Re: DNA Snake identification on bite

Postby Bushviper » Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:02 pm

This DNA testing will only be useful to let us know what bit the person a few days later so it will give you an idea of what people get bitten by. As a diagnostic tool to treat the bite this has no value.

The Australian method tests for venom or antibodies in the blood or urine as well as at the bite site. Even that is not perfect because saliva from a Black headed python gives a positive reading when tried against the death adder test kit.

Research in this regard is on going and in the future we might be lucky enough to be able to identify the snake as well as determine if the bite requires antivenom.
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Re: DNA Snake identification on bite

Postby Jamster » Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:56 pm

Depending on where you are in the world it can be somewhat easier to identify which snake was the culprit.

For example here in port elizabeth we have four main culprits, puff adders, rinkhals, boomslang and cape cobras. From peoples account of the snake, the site of the bite and the syptoms, in some cases it can be easy to identify the culprit from this information. Obviously each individual reacts differently to envenomation but there are cues to look for, such as radical swelling, necrosis and pain from a B.arietans bite or the disorientation, drooling and difficulty breathing associated with a N.nivea bite. These symptoms are obviously very generalized but they help when your pool of "suspects" is limited. D.typus tends to chew while B.arietans tends to leave from 1 to several either single or paired fang marks, once again a generalization, but you get where I'm going with this.

The simple fact of the matter is that in many hospitals most medical proffesionals won't have a clue what cues to look for in determining what snake bit the patient. Instead they have someone to call who knows what to look for and knows their snakes.

I have been on the receiving end of a now it all doctor who wanted to give me polyvalent antivenom and lacerate my hand because I had been bitten by a night adder. When I told him I just came in for a drip with some nice pain killers and I didn't need antivenom he told me I didn't know what I was talking about because the venom was affecting my jxudgement and making me delusional.

In my opinion a well informed doctor who knows what to look for and what to expect, as well as an understanding of snakes behaviour and their identification is something I would pay top dollar for rather than some test that takes days to complete while people uhm and ah about what treatment to use.

Just my 2c.
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Re: DNA Snake identification on bite

Postby Ruan Stander » Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:42 pm

What came of that Jamster ?
At that stage the venom would have been amplifying my aggression and impairing my self-control ;)
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Re: DNA Snake identification on bite

Postby Jamster » Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:38 pm

I told the doctor to get stuffed. I told him to phone a friend of mine, who in turn told the doctor that he would probably kill me if he gave me the antivenom. So stayed a couple nights as per the doctors request, kept my hand elevated and enjoyed a relatively pain free stay at the hospital. All of this stemmed from the fact that this particular doctor had previously treated 2 puff adder bites and thought that a night adder was pretty much the same thing. Which is why medical practioners should be better educated on these animals. If you think about it, snakes are essentially the only deadly intelligent animals that can get into your living space undetected. You would think that hospitals would be better equipped to deal with snake bites.
1.0-reticulated python (Ripcord)
1.1-burmese pythons
5.5-brown house snakes
1.0-taiwanese ratsnake
3.8-BCI
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1.2-rhombic skaapstekers
1.0-yellow rat snake
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