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    In Colombia, there are two species of bushmaster snakes, Lachesis acrochorda, which is distributed mainly in the west of the country (in the Choco region), and Lachesis muta in the southeast (in the Amazon and Orinoquia region), whose presence has been reduced due to the destruction of their habitats. Captive maintenance is challenging, making it difficult to obtain their venom for study and antivenom manufacturing. They are the largest vipers in the world. The occurrence of human envenomation is quite rare, but when it occurs, it is associated with high mortality. Bushmaster venom is necrotizing, hemorrhagic, myotoxic, hemolytic, and cardiovascular depressant. Due to the presence of bradycardia, hypotension, emesis, and diarrhea in some patients (Lachesis syndrome), the possibility of a vagal or cholinergic effect is raised. The treatment of envenomation is hindered by the scarcity of antivenom and the need to use high doses. A review of the most relevant biological and medical aspects of bushmaster snakes is presented, mainly for those occurring in Colombia, to facilitate their recognition and raise awareness about the need for special attention to improve their conservation and advance scientific knowledge, in particular, about their venom. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Carlos A Cañas, Santiago Castaño-Valencia, Fernando Castro-Herrera. The Colombian bushmasters Lachesis acrochorda (García, 1896) and Lachesis muta (Linnaeus, 1766): Snake species, venoms, envenomation, and its management. Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology. 2023 Jul;230:107152

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    PMID: 37178796

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