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The International Society on Toxinology was founded in 1962 by a group on scientists and clinicians interested in advancing the science of toxinology. The Society had it's first international meeting in 1966 in Atlantic City, USA and it's Journal, Toxicon, was first published in 1963. The purpose of the Society is to advance knowledge on the properties of toxins and antitoxins and to bring together scholars interested in these substances through a common Society. Membership consists of those who have conducted and published meritorious original investigations in toxinology, while persons who do not qualify for membership but are interested in the field of toxinology are eligible for associate membership.
Envenoming resulting from snakebites is an important public health problem in many tropical and subtropical countries. Few attempts have been made to quantify the burden, and recent estimates all suffer from the lack of an objective and reproducible methodology. In an attempt to provide an accurate, up-to-date estimate of the scale of the global problem, we developed a new method to estimate the disease burden due to snakebites. The global estimates were based on regional estimates that were, in turn, derived from data available for countries within a defined region. Three main strategies were used to obtain primary data: electronic searching for publications on snakebite, extraction of relevant country-specific mortality data from databases maintained by United Nations organizations, and identification of grey literature by discussion with key informants. Countries were grouped into 21 distinct geographic regions that are as epidemiologically homogenous as possible, in line with the Global Burden of Disease 2005 study (Global Burden Project of the World Bank). Incidence rates for envenoming were extracted from publications and used to estimate the number of envenomings for individual countries; if no data were available for a particular country, the lowest incidence rate within a neighbouring country was used. Where death registration data were reliable, reported deaths from snakebite were used; in other countries, deaths were estimated on the basis of observed mortality rates and the at-risk population.
Reference: Kasturiratne A, Wickremasinghe AR, de Silva N, Gunawardena NK, Pathmeswaran A, Premaratna R, Savioli L, Lalloo DG, de Silva HJ. (2008) The global burden of snakebite: a literature analysis and modelling based on regional estimates of envenoming and deaths. PLoS Med. 5:e218.
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