The & # 039; false black widow & # 039;: the danger of being bitten by this spider is not in the poison

Cyclically, information appears that a spider bite has caused a strange infection in a human being that has caused a serious pathology, which can range from the amputation of a limb to even death. In many cases, it is misinformation that has become viral due to the mere fact of the arachnophobia that many people suffer in the world. However, a team of experts has tried to analyze whether these situations were possible and have discovered that there is a spider that can do it: the noble false black widow.

The 'Steatoda nobilis', better known as noble false black widow, curiously, it is a spider native to the Canary Islands and Madeira, but that, in recent years, it has reached other parts of the European continent, especially the United Kingdom. In recent months, British tabloids have released information blaming this arachnid for some diseases suffered by humans and, in light of this situation, a team of scientists from the University of Galway (Ireland) have decided to carry out a study to try to show if this situation was true or, on the contrary, it was nothing more than a hoax.

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To do this, they took samples of 10 different spider species, very common in Europe, with fangs long and strong enough as to generate a problem in the human being after inoculating its venom. "Of this ten spiders, only fake black life is considered of medical importance", Explain John dunbar, from the University of Galway. Or, put another way, the experts confirmed that the bite of these spiders did not generate any potential danger for humans …, but they discovered something that they did not count on.

In this study, published in 'Nature', they found that, in the vast majority of cases, the bite of the false black widow does not cause a serious reaction. In fact, most of the time this animal bites a human being it ends up with a slight stinging in the affected area or, at most, with some stiffness in the affected limb that does not last more than 24 or 48 hours, that is, about effects very similar to those that a simple wasp can cause. But, indeed, they discovered that there are a number of cases in which the situation can certainly be more serious.

The experts sought to show that the bacteria that these spiders have in their fangs were not transmissible to humans, but were used by the spider itself to keep your fangs sterile and, thus, make its bite effective. But nothing could be further from the truth: "Our study shows that spiders are not only poisonous, but also they are also carriers of dangerous substances capable of causing serious infections"Neyaz Khan, a microbiologist at the University of Galway, explains in a statement.

The noble false black widow. (CC / Wikimedia Commons)

It is important to note that, in many cases, the culprits that this situation is dangerous are human beings themselves, since sometimes these inoculated bacteria are harmless until we decided to scratch the affected area with our nails and, on occasions, the lack of hygiene of our hands it is the one that causes an important infection to be generated. But in other cases it is true that the false black widow is capable of carrying on its fangs a number of bacteria that are considered resistant to antibiotics.

Once again, in this case the guilty are human beings who, because of our excessive dependence on the use of the antibiotic, we have made a number of bacteria resistant to these drugs. "The good news is that most bacteria could be eradicated with a cycle of ciprofloxacin, but the bad news is that some of them are multidrug resistant, what makes them particularly difficult to treat with common medications"explains Khan.

Despite this discovery, scientists have wanted to send a message of calm to the population, ensuring that the risk of a spider transmitting a superbug to us is minimal. It is more possible that we suffer an infection due to poor hygiene than from the bite of an arachnid. Of course, the experts make a public mention so that health professionals take these situations into account and, thus, the risks that a spider bite could have disastrous consequences are limited.

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