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Medical aspects of spider bites

Vetter, RS and Isbister, GK (2008). Medical aspects of spider bites. Annual Review of Entomology,53:409-429.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Medical aspects of spider bites
Author Vetter, RS
Isbister, GK
Journal Name Annual Review of Entomology
Publication Date 2008
Volume Number 53
ISSN 0066-4170   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 409
End Page 429
Total Pages 21
Place of Publication Palo Alto, CA, US
Publisher Annual Reviews
Field of Research 0608 - Zoology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Spiders have been incriminated as causes of human suffering for centuries, but few species worldwide cause medically significant envenomation. Widow spiders (Latrodectus spp.) occur worldwide and cause latrodectism, which is characterized by pain (local and generalized) associated with nonspecific systemic effects, diaphoresis, and less commonly other autonomic and neurological effects. Recluse spiders (Loxosceles spp,) are distributed mostly through the tropical and subtropical Western Hemisphere and can cause severe skin lesions and rarely systemic effects; most bites are unremarkable. Highly dangerous spiders in South America (armed spiders) and Australia (funnel-web spiders) cause rare but severe envenomation requiring medical intervention and sometimes antivenom. Most other spiders involved in verified bites cause minor, transient effects. Many spiders blamed for causing medical mischief have been elevated to medical significance via circumstantial evidence, poor reporting, and repetitive citation in the literature; several species have been shown to be harmless with more stringent scientific evidence involving verified bites in humans.
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Created: Fri, 16 Apr 2010, 17:07:37 CST by Sarena Wegener