Tech & Design

Scientists pursue universal snakebite cure using HIV antibody techniques

Scientists in five countries, including the UK, hope to find a universal cure for snakebite using the same technology that discovered HIV antibodies.

A new consortium of venom specialists in India, Kenya, Nigeria, Britain and the US will locate and develop antibodies to treat critical illness from snakebites, which harm nearly 3 million people worldwide each year.

The consortium will seek an antidote comprised of “humanised antibodies” rather than conventional animal-based therapies, which can sometimes cause adverse effects in snakebite victims, said Prof Robert Harrison, who heads the centre for snakebite research and interventions at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. May 2019

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