Isolation and identification of Clostridium perfringens in the venom and fangs of Loxosceles intermedia (brown spider): enhancement of the dermonecrotic lesion in loxoscelism

Toxicon. 2002 Apr;40(4):409-18. doi: 10.1016/s0041-0101(01)00209-4.


Loxoscelism or the envenoming by the brown spiders (Loxosceles genus spiders), may produce extensive dermonecrosis and hemorrhage at the bite site and, eventually, systemic reactions that may be lethal. Isolation and identification of many different bacteria, among them Clostridium perfringens, of great medical importance due to its involvement in dermonecrotizing and systemic conditions, was carried out from the venomous apparatus (fangs and venom) of spiders obtained directly from nature, through microbiological cultures in aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Working with Loxosceles intermedia venom (alone) and with the venom conjugated with Clostridium perfringens using rabbits as experimental models for dermonecrosis, allowed for the observation that venom and anaerobic bacteria conjugated resulted in a striking increase of the dermonecrotic picture when compared to venom alone, suggesting a role for Clostridium perfringens in the severe dermonecrotic picture of these patients and opening the possibility for the association of antibiotic therapy in treating loxoscelism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clostridium perfringens / isolation & purification*
  • Clostridium perfringens / pathogenicity*
  • Necrosis
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / adverse effects*
  • Rabbits
  • Spider Bites / microbiology*
  • Spider Bites / pathology
  • Spider Venoms / adverse effects*
  • Spiders / microbiology*
  • Tooth / microbiology


  • Spider Venoms
  • loxosceles venom
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases