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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.)

Venomous snakes of medical importance in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro: habitat and taxonomy against ophidism

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Author(s):
B. R. Duque ; S. F. Bruno [2] ; V. Ferreira [3] ; T. B. Guedes ; C. Machado [5] ; B. Hamdan
Total Authors: 6
Document type: Journal article
Source: Brazilian Journal of Biology; v. 83, 2023-10-30.
Abstract

Abstract Snakebite envenoming is a major global health problem that kills or disables half a million people in the world’s poorest countries. Identifying the biting snake and its habitat use is key to understanding snakebite eco-epidemiology and optimizing its clinical management. To prevent and combat the neglected snakebite disease, we characterize the morphology, geographic distribution, habitat use, and snakebites of medically important venomous snakes in the state of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Despite Philodryas spp. not being considered of medical importance by the Brazilian Ministry of Health, we also explore their data once the bites may require medical intervention, may cause death, and their consequences are underestimated. Methods: We assessed taxonomy and geographic data from specimens housed in scientific collections, the literature, and the Notifiable Diseases Information System. Our data revealed fragility in the morphological characters recommended to distinguish Bothrops jararaca from B. jararacussu, identify the subspecies of Crotalus durissus and distinguish the species of Philodryas. To help identify these species, we present an identification key to the venomous snake species from Rio de Janeiro based on the morphological data collected. We record the genera Bothrops and Micrurus in all mesoregions of the state. Here, we provide the first record of C. durissus in the Serrana region, supporting the hypothesis of geographic expansion of the species in the state. The crotalic antivenom must not be missing in Médio Paraíba, Centro-Sul Fluminense, and Serrana, where the rattlesnake C. durissus occurs. Bothrops bilineatus and Lachesis muta have historical records presented for the first time herein. However, these species are likely endangered or extinct in the state. There were 7,483 snakebites reported between 2001 and 2019, with an annual average of 393.8 cases. The Bothrops genus is responsible for the majority of accidents. The highest number of cases occurred in the Serrana region, the largest pole of family agriculture in Rio de Janeiro. We improve the identification of venomous snake species, better delimit their distribution, and update the number of cases of snakebites, thus providing greater precision in the attention to this problem in Rio de Janeiro. We emphasize the importance of clinical studies to test using bothropic-crotalic antivenom and heparin in all mesoregions to treat B. jararacussu envenomation; and mechanical ventilation, atropine, and anticholinesterases in the emergency health centers in the Metropolitana and Norte Fluminense regions due to the occurrence of the coral M. lemniscatus in these areas. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 22/09428-2 - Evolution and Biogeography of the herpetofauna: patterns, process and implications for conservation in a scenario of environmental and climate changes
Grantee:Thaís Barreto Guedes da Costa
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Young Researchers
FAPESP's process: 21/07161-6 - Evolution and biogeography of the herpetofauna: patterns, process and implications for conservation in a scenario of environmental and climate changes
Grantee:Thaís Barreto Guedes da Costa
Support Opportunities: Research Grants - Young Investigators Grants