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Verified bites by yellow sac spiders (genus Cheiracanthium) in the United States and Australia: Where is the necrosis?

Vetter, RS, Isbister, GK, Bush, SP and Boutin, LJ (2006). Verified bites by yellow sac spiders (genus Cheiracanthium) in the United States and Australia: Where is the necrosis?. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene,74(6):1043-1048.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Verified bites by yellow sac spiders (genus Cheiracanthium) in the United States and Australia: Where is the necrosis?
Author Vetter, RS
Isbister, GK
Bush, SP
Boutin, LJ
Journal Name American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Publication Date 2006
Volume Number 74
Issue Number 6
ISSN 0002-9637   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 1043
End Page 1048
Total Pages 6
Place of Publication USA
Publisher American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Field of Research 1117 - Public Health and Health Services
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Spiders of the genus Cheiracanthium are frequently reported in review articles and medical references to be a definitive cause of dermonecrosis or necrotic arachnidism in humans. We provide 20 cases of verified bites by Cheiracanthium spiders from the United States and Australia, none with necrosis. A review of the international literature on 39 verified Cheiracanthium bites found only one case of mild necrosis in the European species C. punctorium. The basis for the suggestion that this spider genus causes dermonecrosis seems to be mostly inference from venom experiments in rabbits and guinea pigs, circumstantial spider involvement in human skin lesions, and repetitive citation of non-definitive reports in the medical literature. We discuss factors that lead to the erroneous elevation of virtually innocuous spiders to that of significant medical concern, which is a recurring problem in the medical community.
Keywords necrotic arachnidism
chiracanthium-mildei
envenomation
diagnosis
myths
loxoscelism
venoms
wounds
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URL http://www.ajtmh.org/cgi/reprint/74/6/1043
 
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Created: Wed, 28 Nov 2007, 14:16:08 CST