Medically important spider bites in southern Africa
Few spider bites are of medical significance in southern Africa. Unfortunately, unexplained lesions are often erroneously attributed to spider bites, sometimes with grave consequences for the patient.1,2 Correct diagnoses facilitate timeous and appropriate treatment. Medically important spiders in southern Africa have either neurotoxic or cytotoxic venom. Here we provide a broad description of the most important neurotoxic and cytotoxic spiders in southern Africa, the clinical profiles of their bites, and the recommended treatment. We touch on clinical variation of bites and misdiagnoses.