Current Knowledge on Snake Dry Bites

Manuela B. Pucca, Cecilie Knudsen, Isadora S. Oliveira, Charlotte Rimbault, Felipe A. Cerni, Fan Hui Wen, Jacqueline Sachett, Marco A. Sartim, Andreas H. Laustsen and Wuelton M. Monteiro.

Snake ‘dry bites’ are characterized by the absence of venom being injected into the victimduring a snakebite incident. The dry bite mechanism and diagnosis are quite complex, and the lackof envenoming symptoms in these cases may be misinterpreted as a miraculous treatment or as proofthat the bite from the perpetrating snake species is rather harmless. The circumstances of dry bitesand their clinical diagnosis are not well-explored in the literature, which may lead to ambiguityamongst treating personnel about whether antivenom is indicated or not. Here, the epidemiology andrecorded history of dry bites are reviewed, and the clinical knowledge on the dry bite phenomenon ispresented and discussed. Finally, this review proposes a diagnostic and therapeutic protocol to assistmedical care after snake dry bites, aiming to improve patient outcomes.