January 6, 2015

Study Rules Out Spiders as Common Cause of Bacterial Infections in Humans

The medical community should not scapegoat spiders for bacterial infections, advises UC Riverside spider expert Richard Vetter

Can spiders be carriers of human pathogens?  Can they provoke an infection through a break in the skin?

A team of scientists, led by an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside, has data-mined the history of publications on spider envenomations to conclude that the evidence for spider-vectored infection is scanty.  Further, the researchers note that the mere presence of bacteria on spider fangs or mouthparts does not establish spiders as vectors for these bacteria.