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Toxicon. 2004 Dec 1;44(7):693-709.

Brown spiders and loxoscelism.

Author information

1
Department of Cell Biology, Federal University of Paraná, Jardim das Américas 81531-990, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil.

Abstract

Accidents caused by brown spiders (Loxosceles genus) are classically associated with dermonecrotic lesions and systemic manifestations including intravascular haemolysis, disseminated intravascular coagulation and acute renal failure. Systemic reactions occur in a minority of cases, but may be severe in some patients and occasionally fatal. The mechanisms by which Loxosceles venom exerts these noxious effects are currently under investigation. The venom contains several toxins, some of which have been well-characterised biochemically and biologically. The purpose of the present review is to describe some insights into loxoscelism obtained over the last ten years. The biology and epidemiology of the brown spider, the histopathology of envenomation and the immunogenicity of Loxosceles venom are reviewed, as are the clinical features, diagnosis and therapy of brown spider bites. The identification and characterisation of some toxins and the mechanism of induction of local and systemic lesions caused by brown spider venom are also discussed. Finally, the biotechnological application of some venom toxins are covered.

PMID:
15500846
DOI:
10.1016/j.toxicon.2004.07.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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