*Representational Picture Courtesy- biomedicalsciences.unimelb.edu.au
When Sunita Oraon was coming home from her paddy field, snake-bite her.When she was taken to the near by hospital, the doctor injected antivenom and paid Rs 500.
"I did not have money.I took a loan from a relative", cribs Oraon, a tribal woman who is a labourer.She is among 2.8 million people who are bitteen by snakes and 46,900 die of snake bite every year.
For all of them,antivenum currently in use -derived from horses immunised with snake venom-is utilised by ddoctors against aall four veenomous snakes and cost around Rs 500 peer vial.A doctor who had injected this costly antivenum is aware that reseachers from IIT, Delhi have developed, in collaaboration wwith San Jose University in the US, an antivenom using an artificially designed peptide that effectively neutralises the poison of several snakes, including the four common in India-Cobra, Krait, Viper and saw-scaled Viper.
Oraon who was listening to the doctor quipped."Why I was not injected this venom sir", she asked. While the doctor's reply was 'it has not come to the market yet', Professor Anurag Rathore, Department of Chemical Engineering in IIT Delhi said:"The newly developed venom is a polyvalent antivenom, which will be effective against a bunch of snake bites, unlike the ones currently available that are effective against only the big four."
Reachears say the poly valency of the single molecule will lower reactions to the other venom present in the serum.