Volume 100, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The local signs and symptoms following snakebites are similar to those of cellulitis caused by bacterial infections. This leads to empirical treatment with antibiotics, which however is not supported by evidence. Procalcitonin (PCT) is a biomarker with good diagnostic accuracy for bacterial infection. We studied serum PCT concentration in 100 patients aged 13 years or more, presenting to the hospital with significant local manifestations (crossing the joint proximal to the bitten wound) within 24 hours after snakebite. The extent and progression of local manifestations were monitored 12 hourly. Baseline PCT measurement was carried out for all patients and measurement was repeated 12 hourly only in those patients with progressive local manifestations. The median interqartile range PCT concentration did not differ significantly by the severity of local manifestation at presentation (Grade 2 = 0.28 [0.26–0.30]; Grade 3 = 0.28 [0.26–0.32]; Grade 4 = 0.27 [0.26–0.32] ng/mL; = 0.15). Furthermore, we did not observe an increase in PCT concentration on serial estimation in those with progressive local manifestation (0.28, 0.29, and 0.29 ng/mL) over 36 hours. These observations suggest that the local manifestations following snakebites were not caused by bacterial infection.


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  • Received : 17 Nov 2017
  • Accepted : 18 Oct 2018
  • Published online : 19 Nov 2018

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