Probable Envenomation by Chiracanthium mildei; A Spider Found in Houses

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  • Department of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Boston, Masschusetts 02115

Between 1960 and 1965 five persons, living in the vicinity of Boston, Massachusetts, were afflicted with necrotizing skin lesions that they attributed to the bites of spiders. Chiracanthium mildei, the most common spider in houses in Boston, were most abundant in autumn when most of the lesions occurred. C. mildei bit experimental animals and produced lesions that resembled, but were less severe than, the patients' lesions. On these and other grounds we suggest that bites of C. mildei were probably responsible for the skin lesions seen in man.

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