Kerala Discovered A Biosensor Gadget That Could Transform The Diagnosis Of Snakebite 

A Kerala Start-up developed a device that performs species-specific snake envenomation diagnosis
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A Kerala Start-up developed a device that performs species-specific snake envenomation diagnosis

Highlights

  • India has 52 kinds of venomous snakes, and over 50,000 people die each year as a result of snakebite envenomation.
  • The polyvalent approach is unable to identify the snake's species and so counter its venom. According to Dr. Dileepkumar, co-founder of Indriyam Biologics, this method is counterproductive because the patient is exposed to three different anti-venoms that are completely unneeded, resulting in difficulties and adverse effects.

India has 52 kinds of venomous snakes, and over 50,000 people die each year as a result of snakebite envenomation. The four species responsible for the majority of these deaths are the common krait (Bungarus caeruleus), Russell's viper (Daboia russelii), Indian saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus), and Indian cobra. Currently, to treat snakebite patients, a polyvalent anti-venom method is used, in which the venoms of these four species are combined and injected into the host to produce antibodies.

As a result of the potential for complications and side effects, Indriyam Biologics Pvt. Ltd, a Thiruvananthapuram-based startup, has developed an ingenious device that performs species-specific snake envenomation diagnosis. The polyvalent approach is unable to identify the snake's species and so counter its venom. According to Dr. Dileepkumar, co-founder of Indriyam Biologics, this method is counterproductive because the patient is exposed to three different anti-venoms that are completely unneeded, resulting in difficulties and adverse effects.

Indriyam Biologics, which has been recognized by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and Startup India, hopes to solve this problem with their new monovalent snake-venom detection biosensor device, which analyses a drop of the victim's blood to determine whether the bite is venomous or non-venomous. Dr. Dileepkumar collaborated on the technology with Dr. Anaswara Krishnan S, co-founder of Indriyam Biologics, and a number of other experts in snake envenomation treatment, including Dr. Oommen V Oommen, Dr. Sudhakaran from the University of Kerala, Dr. Joseph K Joseph, Dr. Vipin Nair, Dr. Sudarslal S, and Dr. Jai from Amrita University.

Meanwhile, the Kerala startup is also developing snakebite kits based on the lateral flow assay concept for quick detection of snakebites, in addition to the diagnostic gadget. Idriyam Biologics was formed in 2017 by Dr. Dileepkumar and Dr. Anaswara Krishan with the goal of revolutionizing snakebite diagnostics and therapies by expanding scientific understanding and applying revolutionary technical methods to make products better, safer, and more cost-effective.

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