Monday, 21 April 2014

Venomous Hobo Spider Bites May Be Not So Toxic After All

By Agata Blaszczak-Boxe, Staff Writer | April 17, 2014 10:17am ET

Whether the bites of the hobo spider are toxic to people has been a matter of scientific debate, but a new study suggests the spider's venom may be less harmful than many people think.

With black widows and brown recluse spiders, hobo spiders are listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the three venomous spiders that can be found in the United States, that can be dangerous. In some cases, hobo spider bites have caused necrosis, which is the death of cells or tissue, according to a 1996 report from the CDC.

However, researchers have questioned for years whether there is actually sufficient evidence that hobo spider venom can indeed cause necrotic skin lesions, and how dangerous to humans these spiders really are. Moreover, hobo spiders are considered innocuous in Europe, and previous research comparing the venom of American and European members of the species did not find significant differences between the two.

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