Rare case of dermonecrosis caused by a recluse spider bite in Europe

BMJ Case Rep. 2016 Jul 20:2016:bcr2016215832. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2016-215832.


Spider poisoning is rare in Europe, with very few reported cases in the literature. Recluse spider (genus Loxosceles) bites may lead to cutaneous and systemic manifestations known as loxoscelism. We report the second known case of spider bite poisoning in Malta caused by Loxosceles rufescens (Mediterranean recluse spider). A young adult female presented with localised erythema and pain on her left thigh after a witnessed spider bite. Over a few days, the area developed features of dermonecrosis together with systemic symptoms, including fever, fatigue and a generalised erythematous eruption. She was managed by a multidisciplinary team and the systemic symptoms resolved within 6 days, while the skin lesion healed with scarring within 2 months. A recluse spider bite should be considered in patients with dermonecrosis. Although spider bite poisoning is uncommon in Europe, it is important to diagnose and manage it appropriately since it could lead to potentially serious sequelae.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Brown Recluse Spider*
  • Cicatrix / etiology*
  • Cicatrix / pathology
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Necrosis
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Spider Bites / complications*
  • Spider Bites / pathology
  • Young Adult