HomeTrendingHow Was Anti-Venom invented? Why Horses Are Important For It's Production?

    How Was Anti-Venom invented? Why Horses Are Important For It’s Production?

    Anti-venom medications are literally life savers. One of the most prominent poisons in the world comes from a snake bite. Every year, thousands of people die because of it. The fortunate ones who get access to the medication, survive.

    But we wonder how was this invented. The way it functions and removes the poison is really fascinating. Another interesting point is the involvement of horses in its production. Confused? Well, let’s find out more about the anti-venom treatment.

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    The Story Behind Anti-Venom


    An interesting article on Quora from the Reptiles & Amphibians page unveils the story behind anti-venom drugs. The article explains whenever we get infected with bacteria, it multiplies and produces waste.

    Years of evolution have formed an immune system that neutralizes microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and prions. Prions are self-replicating proteins that contain no DNA or RNA. But they are actually alive.

    Snake venoms are also proteins that our body could fight. But no exposure before means you would be long dead by the time it builds immunity against it. But there is a weird connection between snake venoms and horses.

    Horses Are Life Savers

    The Horse Fair
    A painting of horses

    The quora article mentions: “Back in the 1890’s, a Frenchman in southeast Asia noticed that local snake handlers would frequently intentionally get bitten by cobras- and these were not suicide attempts. It was observed that the handlers that did this tended to survive unintentional bites as well; they had innoculated themselves against cobra venom. In layman’s terms, they were immune.”

    The Frenchman named Albert Calmette started injecting small doses into rabbits. After a point, he was injecting a rabbit with 15 times the lethal dose without causing harm. This proved that it was possible to be immune to snake venom.

    He then injected a non-inoculated rabbit with a dose of snake poison. The guy then drew blood from an inoculated rabbit and transfused the blood into it. The first rabbit survived as the venom was neutralized by the other’s antibodies.

    In today’s time, venom is injected directly into livestock, commonly horses. It is because their higher body weight allows them to safely tolerate more venom than humans. Horses also produce more antibodies. So, they have truly been a lifesaver for all of us.

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