outline: A Summary of Serpent Venom Toxicity, Pathology and Treatment Methods

This topic submitted by Paul Levy ( Paulml52@hotmail.com) at 7:51 PM on 5/11/03.

This Ant is an "Aphid Rancher." (SE Costa Rica)

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University



I. Intro
A. Historical view of snakes and use of venom for certain disease treatment
B. How to spot poisonous snakes

II. Types of Venomous Snakes
A. Crotalidae (Pit Vipers)
B. Elapidae (elapids)
C. Viperidae (Vipers)
D. Hydrophids (Sea Snakes)
E. Fang orientation in different snakes

III. Anatomy of venom apparatus
A. Venom Gland
B. Duct and Accessory Gland
C. Fang and Venom delivery

IV. Venoms
A. Uses of venom (offense/defense)
B. Chemistry and Pharmacology of venoms
C. Chemical Composition and correlated actions in snake venoms
D. Generalized mechanisms of action of characteristic types of venoms and concurrent symptoms and pathology in the human model

V. Treatment and Antivenins
A. Identification of venom toxicity and a few random facts
B. Clinical Treatment Methods
C. Antivenin specificity, action and production

This Basic outline should allow anyone to follow the structure of the paper and concurrent lecture, however, all detail has been left out. I think that the topic is really interesting, but then again I think snakes are pretty cool and I like chasing them. I feel that the topic is relevant to the course because there are some sweet looking venomous snakes in costa rica (I know b/c I have seen one) and because it attacks a subject from a broad range of disciplines (chemistry, cytology, physiology, pathology and others). I hope that anyone reading this paper will take away a sense of the amazing chemical complexity of snake venom and hopefully respect snakes as opposed to thinking that they are creepy and dumb animals. Hays, I know what a snake nut you are…. I think you’re going to like this paper.


SOURCES (not listed in MLA style yet b/c I hate doing that until I have to)

1. http://www.bio.davidson.edu/Courses/anphys/1999/Hutchins/Hutchins.htm

2. Lee, C. Y. (1970). Elapid neurotoxins and their mode of action, Clin. Toxicol., 3, 457.

3. Rattlesnake venoms, their actions and treatment / edited by Anthony T. Tu

4. Venoms : Chemistry And Molecular Biology QP941.S6 T8 Anthony Tu

5. Snake venom poisoning / Findlay E. Russell

6. A Primer of Drug Action/ Robert M. Julien

7. Snake Venom and Envenomation / Sherman A. Minton



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