POTENTIAL GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF THE GENUS Micrurus WAGLER, 1824 (SERPENTES: ELAPIDAE) AND ANTIVENOM SUPPLY IN RIO DE JANEIRO STATE, BRAZIL

Gabriela Ferreira Campos Guerra, Lucas Gonçalves da Silva, Cláudio Machado, Daniel Silva Fernandes

Abstract


The coral snake genus Micrurus has non-aggressive behavior, being responsible for only 0.4% of the reports of snakebites in Brazil. However, although rare, accidents are potentially serious due to rapidly evolving respiratory paralysis. In the last few years, there was an abrupt reduction in the number of hospitals receiving antivenom support in Rio de Janeiro State, and currently the Health Ministry of Brazil distributes the antivenom only to 25 hospitals in 21 municipalities, even so with no data on specific serum provided by each hospital. This study aimed to determine the potential distribution of Micrurus species in Rio de Janeiro State in order to compare potential areas for risk of elapidic accidents with the localities assisted by hospitals with antivenom distribution. We performed ecological niche models to generate maps of potential distribution for all species through several niche algorithms. Based on these results we analyzed and discussed the consequences of this change in the number of hospitals receiving antivenom. Our results revealed the potential occurrence of the genus throughout the State territory and show a partially homogeneous distribution of health units, although the northern region represents an area with a deficiency in hospital coverage. According to our results and data from the Rio de Janeiro State Secretary of Health, it is highly desirable that at least some antivenom service centers in the regions “Metropolitana” and “Baixadas Litorâneas” receive antielapidic serum and that there be an increase in the number of units in “Norte Fluminense” and “Noroeste Fluminense” regions of Rio de Janeiro State.


Keywords


bioclimatic variables; coral snake; hospitals; niche modeling; snakebite

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4257/oeco.2019.2303.09

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