Document Detail

Australian wolf spider bites (Lycosidae): clinical effects and influence of species on bite circumstances.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15214620     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Necrotic arachnidism continues to be attributed to wolf spider bites. This study investigates the clinical effects of bites by wolf spiders in Australia (family Lycosidae). METHODS: Subjects were recruited prospectively from February 1999 to April 2001 from participating emergency departments or state poison information centers. Subjects were included if they had a definite bite by a wolf spider and had collected the spider, which was later identified by an arachnologist. Spiders were identified to the lowest taxonomic level possible and cephalothorax width was measured to correlate bite effects and spider size. RESULTS: There were 45 definite wolf spider bites (23 male and 22 female patients; age range 1 to 69 years, median age 28 years). Species level identifications (14 species) were possible for 31 of 43 spiders belonging to seven different generic groupings. Most bites were by spiders from four generic groupings, Tasmanicosa (including 'Lycosa') (15), Venatrix (8), Venator (10), and Hogna (7). Bites occurred more commonly in south-eastern Australia and occurred throughout the year, with 7 bites (16%) in late autumn or winter. In 7 cases (16%) the person was swimming in or cleaning a pool. Seventy-two percent of bites occurred on distal parts of limbs. Pain occurred in all bites and was severe in 11 cases (24%), with a median duration of 10 min (IQR: 2-60 min). Other effects included puncture marks/bleeding (33%), swelling (20%), redness (67%), and itchiness (13%). Minor systemic effects occurred in three patients (7%): nausea (two), headache (one) and malaise (one). There were no cases of necrotic ulcers [0%; 97.5% CI 0-8%]. Tasmanicosa spider bites caused significantly more itchiness and redness, and large spiders (>5 mm) more often caused severe pain and left fang marks. CONCLUSION: Wolf spider bites cause minor effects, no more severe than most other spiders, and do not appear to cause necrotic ulcers. The effects are likely to be due to mechanical injury, although minor local envenomation occurs with Tasmanicosa bites.
Geoffrey K Isbister; Volker W Framenau
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of toxicology. Clinical toxicology     Volume:  42     ISSN:  0731-3810     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Toxicol. Clin. Toxicol.     Publication Date:  2004  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-06-24     Completed Date:  2004-07-20     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8213460     Medline TA:  J Toxicol Clin Toxicol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  153-61     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Discipline of Clinical Pharmacology, Newcastle Mater Misericordiae Hospital, University of Newcastle, Waratah, New South Wales, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Arachnidism / diagnosis*,  epidemiology,  physiopathology
Australia / epidemiology
Child, Preschool
Follow-Up Studies
Middle Aged
Pain / physiopathology
Prospective Studies
Spiders / classification*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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