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(Reference retrieved automatically from SciELO through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Maintenance of venomous snakes in captivity for venom production at Butantan Institute from 1908 to the present: a scoping history

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Kathleen Fernandes Grego ; Samira Emanuella Maria Vieira ; Jarbas Prado Vidueiros ; Eliana de Oliveira Serapicos ; Cibele Cíntia Barbarini ; Giovanni Perez Machado da Silveira ; Fabíola de Souza Rodrigues ; Lucas de Carvalho Francisco Alves ; Daniel Rodrigues Stuginski ; Luciana Carla Rameh-de-Albuquerque ; Maria de Fátima Domingues Furtado ; Anita Mitico Tanaka-Azevedo ; Karen de Morais-Zani ; Marisa Maria Teixeira da Rocha ; Wilson Fernandes ; Sávio Stefanini Sant’Anna
Total Authors: 16
Document type: Journal article
Source: Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases; v. 27, p. -, 2021.
Web of Science Citations: 0
Abstract

Abstract Maintenance of snakes at Butantan Institute started in the last century, intending to produce a different antivenom serum to reduce death caused by snakebites. Through a successful campaign coordinated by Vital Brazil, farmers sent venomous snakes to Butantan Institute by the railway lines with no cost. From 1908 to 1962, the snakes were kept in an outdoor serpentarium, where venom extraction was performed every 15 days. During this period, the snake average survival was 15 days. In 1963, the snakes were transferred to an adapted building, currently called Laboratory of Herpetology (LH), to be maintained in an intensive system. Although the periodicity of venom extraction remained the same, animal average survival increased to two months. With the severe serum crisis in 1983, the Ministry of Health financed remodeling for the three public antivenom producers, and with this support, the LH could be improved. Air conditioning and exhausting systems were installed in the rooms, besides the settlement of critical hygienic-sanitary managements to increase the welfare of snakes. In the early 1990s, snake survival was ten months. Over the years to the present day, several improvements have been made in the intensive serpentarium, as the establishment of two quarantines, feeding with thawed rodents, an interval of two months between venom extraction routines, and monitoring of snake health through laboratory tests. With these new protocols, average snake survival increased significantly, being eight years for the genus Bothrops, ten years for genus Crotalus and Lachesis, and four years for the genus Micrurus. Aiming the production of venoms of good quality, respect for good management practices is essential for the maintenance of snakes in captivity. New techniques and efficient management must always be sought to improve animal welfare, the quality of the venom produced, and the safety of those working directly with the venomous snakes. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 17/18100-2 - Determination of the main causes of death in Brazilian venomous snakes kept in captivity: anato-pathological study of the deaths from 2000 to 2017
Grantee:Kathleen Fernandes Grego
Support type: Regular Research Grants