Snakebite is a medical emergency causing considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide, particularly in the tropics. Snake venom components are known to vary greatly leading to varied clinical manifestations following snakebite. The success of antivenom therapy, which is the mainstay of therapy, usually depends on the snake species involved, and uncertainties concerning the species involved remain a major hurdle in effective management of snakebite. Therefore, proper identification of snake species is of prime importance, consequently leading to the development of the Snake Venom Diagnostic Kit (SVDK). Over the years, various detections tests have been developed, with the immunological-reaction-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ( ELISA) method being the most widely used. However, in recent times various other techniques, such as optical immunoassays (OIA), venom/antibody microarray assay, PCR based assays, etc., are also being developed with much more promise in real-time applications. Furthermore, the tests tend to be highly species-specific, reliable, sensitive, rapid, inexpensive, stable, simple, and portable for field use. It is desirable that each country develops and optimizes its own regional species-specific diagnosis kits for effective management of snakebite. Considering doubts in the commercial viability of developing SVDK, more public or private partnerships have to be developed and nurtured. This work attempts to summarize existing techniques of snake venom detection in current use, especially their advantages and disadvantages. It also focuses on recent developments and discusses the present challenges to the development and application of SVDK for successful clinical usage in the future.
The garter snakes (Thamnophis) belong to the collective category of harmless, effectively non-venomous North American snakes also often referred to as garden snakes. Many species and subspecies range across much of the continent. The “garden snake” moniker stems from how frequently garter snakes are found in gardens and yards, where they prosper amid moist soil conditions and rich food sources. Although many people irrationally fear garter snakes, they are actually beneficial in controlling garden pest populations such as slugs.
-TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)
Many people call garter snakes – some of the most common, widespread and frequently observed snakes in North America – “garden snakes,” a reflection of their common occurrence in yards and farm plots. In other words, a garter snake and a garden snake are one and the same.
-Garter Snake Description & Range
Most garter snakes boast bold coloration, lateral stripes and checkered patterns, making them fairly easy to spot. The underside or belly tends to be a pale yellow or white with no stripes on both males and females. Garter snakes are normally between 18 and 26 inches long with males being a bit thicker and longer than females, but they can reach lengths of up to 4 feet. Garter snakes range throughout much of North America, from central Canada south through Mexico; in the Lower 48, they’re only absent from portions of the Southwest.
-Habitat and Diet
Garter snakes can swim but are not agile climbers; they inhabit meadows, marshes, ditches and damp woods, staying close to the ground looking for insects, frogs, salamanders, fish and tadpoles. They’ll also occasionally eat bird eggs, mice, leeches and small carrion – not to mention smaller snakes, such as the ring-necked. Farms, forest edges and roads make common hunting grounds for garter snakes