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Title: Clinical effects of bites from formally identified spiders in tropical Northern Territory.
Authors: Isbister, G K
Churchill, T B
Hirst, D B
Gray, M R
Currie, B J
Citation: The Medical journal of Australia 2001-01-15; 174(2): 79-82
Abstract: To determine the types of spiders causing bites and the clinical effects of their bites in tropical Northern Territory (north of the town of Katherine). A prospective study of confirmed and suspected spider-bites and a retrospective analysis of data from a standardised, local database of spider- and snake-bites. Confirmed spider-bites were those in which there was a clear history of the bite, and the captured spider was identified by an arachnologist. Emergency department of a teaching hospital. SUBJECTS AND DATA SOURCE: All subjects with confirmed or suspected spider-bite presenting to the Emergency Department or referred from August 1999 to August 2000, or identified from the database. Thirty-four subjects had a confirmed spider-bite from an identified spider: 25 in the prospective group and nine in the retrospective group. The spiders were Sparassidae (huntsman spider) (12 bites), Missulena pruinosa (northern mouse spider) (7), Latrodectus (widow spider) (4), Araneidae (orb-weaver) (4), Salticidae (jumping spider) (4), Nemesidae (trapdoor spider) (1), Conothele (1) and Selenocosmia (whistling spider) (1). Clinical effects were local pain in 97% (severe in 29%), redness in 47% and swelling in 24% of cases. Systemic effects occurred in three victims, two of whom were bitten by M. pruinosa. There were no cases of confirmed necrotic arachnidism. None of the spider-bites resulted in severe effects. Compared with data from other parts of Australia, different species were involved and latrodectism was uncommon. Our study highlighted the importance of correctly identifying the spider species.
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Journal title: The Medical journal of Australia
Publication Date: 2001-01-15
ISSN: 0025-729X
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:(a) NT Health Research Collection

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