Apropos of Cleopatra and snake venom

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Cleopatra VII, one of the last Egyptian sovereigns of the ptolomeic dynasty, is envisioned as a mythic figure, surrounded by intrigues and mystery. Her mysterious death was caused, according to history, by a snake bite. This article shows some instances of great Cleopatra's life and the state of the art on snake venoms. Even at the present time, snake bites are a public health problem in Asia, Africa, Central and South America, causing more than 25000 deaths every year. Most snake venoms have a protein structure and cause neurotoxic and hemolytic effects, altering coagulation and fibrinolysis. The mortality due to snake bites fluctuates between 1 and 22%. Specific treatment includes the use of specific antiserums with highly purified components.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1222-1226
Number of pages5
JournalRevista Medica de Chile
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2001


  • History of Medicine
  • Snake Bites
  • Snake Venomous


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