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CASE REPORT
Brown recluse (L. rufescens) can bite in Northern Italy, too: first case report and review of the literature
  1. David Michael Abbott1,
  2. Enrico Brunetti2,
  3. Stefania Barruscotti3 and
  4. Valeria Brazzelli1
  1. 1 Department of Clinical-Surgical, Diagnostic, and Pediatric Sciences, Institute of Dermatology, IRCCS Fondazione Policlinico San Matteo, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  2. 2 Unit of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, IRCCS Fondazione Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy
  3. 3 Department of Clinical-Surgical, Diagnostic, and Pediatric Sciences, Institute of Dermatology, PhD Experimental Medicine, IRCCS Fondazione Policlinico San Matteo, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Valeria Brazzelli, vbrazzelli{at}libero.it

Abstract

The brown recluse, or fiddleback (violin) spider, is a poisonous spider of the Loxosceles genus that resides in warmer regions and old structures making the warm Mediterranean climate a natural habitat for the European species, L. rufescens. Even in infested households, however, bites are rare, as they are nocturnal and unaggressive. In 2015, the first supposed death by L. rufescens occurred in Italy, but before and even after such bite, the literature on these spiders has been under-represented. This case report documents a confirmed bite by a violin spider on a medical student in Pavia, Italy. The presentation in this case was initially with general systemic, flu-like symptoms, then as cellulitis with lymphangitis that persisted for nearly 2 weeks until resolving without prolonged or complicated pathology. We present the first documented case of a L. rufescens bite in Northern Italy, to the best of our knowledge.

  • dermatology
  • travel medicine
  • prehospital
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Footnotes

  • Contributors All authors contributed to the study of the case and in the drafting of the work providing a wide bibliographic review. DMA: writing publication. EB: writing and analysis and interpretation of data. SB: conception and design. VB: writing, conception and design, critical revision of publication.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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