Pan-African Snake Antivenom

Envenoming by snakes is an important public health problem in Africa, where an estimated 500.000 cases occur annually, resulting in high mortality and morbidity.

A polyspecific Pan-African antivenom has been produced from the plasma of horses immunized with a mixture of the venoms of Echis ocellatus, Bitis arietans and Naja nigricollis, the three most medically important snakes in sub-Saharan Africa.

Snake antivenom immunoglobulins (antivenoms) are the only specific treatment for envenoming by snakebites. Antivenoms can prevent or reverse most of the snakebite envenomings effects, and play a crucial role in minimizing mortality and morbidity. These preparations are included in the WHO List of Essential Medicines and should be part of any primary health care package where snakebites occur

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Situation of Snakebite in Africa


White-bellied Carpet Viper - Echis Leucogaster

Echis spp.

White-bellied carpet viper Echis leucogaster
West african carpet viper Echis ocellatus
East african carpet viper

Echis pyramidum


East African Gaboon Viper - Bitis Gabonica

Bitis spp.

Puff adder

Bitis arietans

East african gaboon viper
Bitis gabonica
Butterfly viper / River jack Bitis nasicornis
West african gaboon viper Bitis rhinoceros


Naja spp.

Ashe’s spitting cobra Naja ashei
Katian spitting cobra / Mali cobra
Naja katiensis
Mozambique spitting cobra
Naja mossambica
Black-necked spitting cobra
Naja nigricollis
Red spitting cobra
Naja pallida


African Snake Antivenom


WHO General Assembly 64th Session presents the Dr LEE Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health to Dr. Yamileth Angulo, Director of ICP.

The Clodomiro Picado Institute produces antivenoms for many Central and South American and European countries. It has developed innovative scientific and biotechnical processes to promote the enhancement of biologicals, both nationally and internationally; it advises countries on the prevention and treatment of snakebites, and also the production and quality control of antivenoms in Central and South America; and it manages collaboration projects for the production of antivenoms specific to countries with scarce resources such as Nigeria, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka. In collaboration with the Latin American science and technology development programme (CYTED), the Clodomiro Picado Institute coordinates a network of production centres in Central and South America.

The Institute was involved in the drafting of the WHO Guidelines for the Production, Control and Regulation of Snake Antivenom Immunoglobulins.


ISO 9001:2015

African Snake Antivenom


EchiTAb-PLUS-ICP showed to be safe due to the low rates of adverse reactions. This is in line with neutralization studies which have also demonstrated the safety and efficacy of EchiTAb-PLUS-ICP in African viperid envenoming

Treatment outcomes among snakebite patients in north-west Ethiopia—A retrospective analysis

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Feb 9, 2022

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