frequently asked questions


 Editor de Conteúdo


How old is Instituto Butantan?
The Butantan was established in 1901. In 2015 it will be 114 years.

How many vaccines and sera does Instituto Butantan produce?
The Butantan currently produces 6 vaccines and 13 sera. 

They are as follows:


  • Hepatiti​s B vaccine adsorbed (recombinant)
  • • Vero Cell Rabies Vaccine
  • • Influenza Vaccine (flu)
  • • DTP - (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis vaccine adsorbed) against diphtheria, tétano and coqueluche (bacterial tríplice)
  • • DT (double dose for children)
  • • dT (double dose for adults)


  • • antibothropic serum (pentavalent)
  • • antibothropic (pentavalent) and anticrotalic serum
  • • antibothropic (pentavalent) and antilaquetico serum
  • • anticrotalic serum
  • • antielapidico serum (bivalent)
  • • anti-spider serum
  • • anti-scorpion serum
  • • anti-lonomia serum
  • • antidiphtheria serum
  • • antitetanus serum
  • • antirabies serum
  • • antibotulinum AB serum (bivalent)
  • • antibotulinum E serum

Can one buy sera and vaccines at Instituto Butantan?
All of the products made at the Butantan are for the Ministry of Health, which in turn supplies them to the Brazilian Unified Health System [Sistema Unico de Saude (SUS)].

Can anyone visit the plants?
No. In order to ensure a sterile environment for the production of vaccines and sera, only authorized personnel may enter the plants.

 Will the Butantan produce a vaccine against Dengue fever?
The Butantan developed a 100% Brazilian tetravalent vaccine against dengue fever that is currently being tested on volunteers in order to ensure the product's quality. The clinical studies have shown excellent results.

Who can volunteer in the dengue vaccine trials?
Women and men between the ages of 18 and 59 years who have had or have not had dengue infection and who will be available to participate in the study at the research centers for next the five years can be volunteers in the dengue vaccine trials. More information:

What steps should be taken in accidents with venomous animals?

  •  Have the victim lie down and keep calm.
  •  Wash the area of the bite with soap and water.
  •  Have the victim drink water to stay hydrated.
  •  Keep the area of the bite elevated.
  •  Get medical attention immediately.

For scorpion accidents

It is recommended to use lukewarm compresses and to take painkillers until reaching a medical center where the situation can be evaluated and the need for serum can be determined.

Accidents with Scolopendra

It is recommended to use cold water compresses, to wash the bite area with soap and water and to take analgesics to alleviate the pain until reaching a medical center where the situation can be evaluated and the need for serum can be determined.

Should anyone who has had an accident with a poisonous animal go to Vital Brazil Hospital?
Not necessarily. The victim should go to the medical center that is nearest the location of the accident.

Is it necessary to bring the poisonous animal to the hospital with the victim?
No. Based on the symptoms, the doctor will know kind of animal the patient came into contact with and will make proper use of serology.

Is the Vital Brazil Hospital open every day?
Yes. 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Can anyone receive care at the hospital?
Yes. All one needs for care is the SUS (Brazilian Unified Health System) card and a piece of identification.

Is entry to the park free?
Yes, the park entry is free. The park is open Monday-Sunday, 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Does Instituto Butantan only have snakes?
No. Instituto Butantan carries out research in various fields of science. There are more than 20 laboratories and an industrial area for serum and vaccine production within the Butantan complex.

What other animals can be seen at the Institute?
Besides snakes, the Butantan has spiders, scorpions, lizards, turtles, fish and monkeys on display. Just in 2014 the Institute inaugurated the Bird Observatory, which regularly organizes guided tours to view some of the 120 species of birds already spotted in the park.

Can one enter the monkey facility?
No. Access is restricted to medical veterinarians and handlers only, but it is possible to see the monkeys from the sidewalk.

What is the serpentarium? Is entrance allowed?
The serpentarium is a ditch decorated with natural plants and a water source, in which one can observe snakes in direct contact with nature. Entrance into the serpentarium is not allowed.

Has the building that caught fire been rebuilt?
The new building is ready and equipped with the safety necessary to carry out our work in the area of zoological collections.

How many animals were lost in the fire and how many were safe? Were they alive?
There was a significant loss of scientific heritage, but the collection has been recovered - more than 25% of snakes and more than 60% of arthropods. The animals were part of a zoological collection and there were no living animals at that site.

What kind of work does Instiuto Butantan do on Ilha da Queimada Grande (Snake Island)?
The Butantan Institute is a pioneer in the study of the Golden Lancehead Viper, or the jararacas-ilhoas (bothrops-insularis). The Butantan received its first lot of these serpents from Ilha da Queimada Grande 100 years ago. Since then all of the information known to this day about this species, be it its natural history, ecology, reproduction or venom, comes from knowledge generated by the institute's researchers.

What's the difference between a serum and a vaccine?
A vaccine is for prophylactic use, that is, it prevents against a bacterial or viral illness. A serum, on the other hand, has curing properties; it is used as a treatment after the fact of an infection.

What is serum powder for? Will Butantan produce it?
The powder or lyophilized product is better suited to resist temperature changes. The product is still in the development phase, and has undergone testing. The Butantan is working to improve the product prior to releasing it for wider use. There is no estimate for when it will be ready for consumption.

I would like an internship at Butantan. How should I proceed?
Instituto Butantan has an internship section. Get in touch by email,

Does Instituto Butantan offer courses?
Butantan offers more than 30 courses per year. For more information go to
Butantan oversees the MBA in Health Innovation Management and graduate studies in Toxinology and Biotechnology. Read more at​