Captive maintenance and venom extraction of Tityus serrulatus (Brazilian yellow scorpion) for antivenom production

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Scorpion envenomation is a public health problem in several tropical and subtropical countries. Tityus serrulatus Lutz and Mello, 1922 (Brazilian yellow scorpion) are responsible for approximately 150,000 envenoming cases per year in Brazil, of which 10% require antivenom treatment to reverse life-threatening venom effects. Therefore, thousands of T. serrulatus individuals are maintained under controlled captivity conditions for venom extraction, subsequently used in the production of the national supply of scorpion antivenom. Instituto Butantan is the main antivenom-manufacturing laboratory in Brazil, providing about 70,000 vials of scorpion antivenom for the Brazilian health system. Thus, the husbandry protocols and venom extraction methodologies are key points for the success of large-scale, standardized venom production. The objective of this article is to describe the captivity protocols of T. serrulatus husbandry, encompassing the husbandry routine and the venom extraction procedures, following good manufacturing practices, and ensuring animal welfare. These practices allow for the maintenance of up to 20,000 animals in captivity, with a routine of 3,000 to 5,000 scorpions milked monthly according to antivenom manufacturing demand, achieving an average of 90% of positive extraction.
Chiariello TM, Candido DM, Oliveira RN, Auada AVV, Fan HW. Captive maintenance and venom extraction of Tityus serrulatus (Brazilian yellow scorpion) for antivenom production. Journal of Visualized Experiments.
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