Snake antivenom production in Ecuador: Poor implementation, and an unplanned cessation leads to a call for a renaissance

Esteban Ortiz-Prado, Justin Yeager, Felipe Andrade, Camila Schiavi-Guzman, Paola Abedrabbo-Figueroa, Enrique Terán, Lenin Gómez-Barreno, Katherine Simbaña-Rivera, Juan S. Izquierdo-Condoy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Snakebite envenomation is a global health problem. This health problem asymmetrically affects rural populations in developing countries to such an extent that it recently has been listed as a priority neglected tropical disease (NTD). It is estimated that 5.4 million individuals are bitten by snakes each year, causing at least 2.7 million envenomations and more than 100,000 deaths each year. Ecuador has one of the highest snakebite envenomation incidence rates in Latin America, mostly in the coastal and Amazonian provinces. Envenomations in these regions are the result of bites primarily by species of snakes belonging to the Viperidae family. Ecuador was able to locally produce antivenoms, however serious flaws were revealed in the antivenom production process, leading to the decommissioning of the existing facility. In the interest of public health, we have summarized the political and social setbacks experienced by the antivenom serum production plant in Ecuador, while encouraging resuming local production of snake antivenom to improve the responsiveness of the already overburdened health system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-97
Number of pages8
JournalToxicon
Volume202
DOIs
StatePublished - 30 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Antivenom
  • Ecuador
  • Epidemiology
  • Public health
  • Serum
  • Snake antivenom
  • Snakebite

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