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Barrett Hodgson University’s Department of Biosciences and Salim Habib Centre of Learning and Teaching, organized a 3-day “Hands on Workshop on the Development of Snakebite Diagnostics” in collaboration with Dr. Luiz Guilherme Heneine, Fundacao Ezequiel Dias (FUNED), Brazil, from January 22-24, 2020.

Dr. Luiz is a recognized leader of the Venom and Toxins Research Group of Venomous and Immunology, addressing Applied Immunology, Bioprospecting of biological activity and Biotechnological Innovation, as a collaborator in research groups and Quality Control of Animal Products.

Dr. Syed Faraz, Assistant Professor from National Centre for Proteomics shared his experience of working on snakebites and remedies in Pakistan.
Dr. Shaukat Ali, Principal College of Biotechnology, (DUHS) highlighted the importance and need of effective Polyvalent anti-venom antisera and its production to meet the requirement of this product for Pakistan and abroad.
Dr. Aqeel Ahmad, Professor in Bioscience Department BHU highlighted the need and complications of available therapeutics.

Over 20 Teachers/ Researchers from various Universities/ Research Organizations, including University of Karachi, Federal Urdu University, and Jinnah University for Women, Dow University for Health Sciences, Center of Excellence of Science & Technology, Sindh University, Jamshoro and Shah Abdul Latif University, participated in the workshop.

In Pakistan 72 snake species are reported, only 14 marine and 12 terrestrial snake species are poisonous. Amongst the most poisonous snakes found in Pakistan, the cobra, the common krait, Russell’s viper and the saw-scaled viper are commonly responsible for snakebites causing long-term disabilities such as blindness, disfigurement, amputation and even death.

This workshop was designed to prepare venom adsorbents for making a
Species-specific anti-venom antibody, to compare their cross-reactivity of the adsorbed and non-adsorbed anti-venom by ELISA.

Such workshops help participants to develop appropriate diagnostic tests or can prepare species-specific therapy to reduce any complication and cost of therapy, but with high efficacy of treatment. Not only this, but all participants got enough exposure and hands-on training to develop different types of test based on this experiment.