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Original article

Vol. 143 No. 3536 (2013)

Swiss prospective study on spider bites

  • Markus Gnädinger
  • Wolfgang Nentwig
  • Joan Fuchs
  • Alessandro Ceschi
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2013;143:w13877


Knowledge of spider bites in Central Europe derives mainly from anecdotal case presentations; therefore we aimed to collect cases systematically. From June 2011 to November 2012 we prospectively collected 17 cases of alleged spider bites, and together with two spontaneous notifications later on, our database totaled 19 cases. Among them, eight cases could be verified. The causative species were: Cheiracanthium punctorium (3), Zoropsis spinimana (2), Amaurobius ferox, Tegenaria atrica and Malthonica ferruginea (1 each). Clinical presentation was generally mild, with the exception of Cheiracanthium punctorium, and patients recovered fully without sequelae.

In Switzerland, spider bites generally have a benign clinical course, which is characterised by minor effects, with rapid and complete recovery. Since only verified spider bites can be regarded as spider bites, in the case of clinically important arachnidism, the spider should be sent to an expert for identification. Our study may help to diminish spider fear and reassure people who have experienced a bite.

The study was registered at (NCT01355744).


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