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June 18, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLII(25):1629. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490700029009

Although the death rate from snake poisoning in this country is insignificant as compared with that of India and other tropical countries, snake bites are sufficiently frequent and sufficiently harmful to render a knowledge of snake venoms and their antidotes of great practical value. The variety of poisonous snake most widespread in America is the rattlesnake, and the recent studies of Flexner and Noguchi1 deal mainly with this snake and its poison. When Calmette of Lille first published his classical researches on snake venom and antivenin it was thought that he had produced a substance which would neutralize all forms of snake poisoning. The researches of recent years have shown, however, that the poisonous principles in the venom differ in different serpents. Thus the active principle in cobra venom is a neurotoxin, while that of rattlesnake venom is a substance which destroys the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels,

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