Toxicity of the venom ofLatrodectus(Araneae: Theridiidae) spiders from different regions of Argentina and neutralization by therapeutic antivenoms

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“Black widow” spiders belong to the genus Latrodectus and are one of the few spiders in the world whose bite can cause severe envenomation in humans and domestic animals. In Argentina, these spiders are distributed throughout the country and are responsible for the highest number of bites by spiders of toxicological sanitary interest. Here, we studied the toxicity and some biochemical and immunochemical characteristics of eighteen venom samples from Latrodectus spiders from eight different provinces of Argentina, and the neutralization of some of these samples by two therapeutic antivenoms used in the country for the treatment of envenomation and by a anti-Latrodectus antivenom prepared against the venom of Latrodectus mactans from Mexico. We observed important toxicity in all the samples studied and a variation in the toxicity of samples, even in those from the same region and province and even in the same Latrodectus species from the same region. The therapeutic antivenoms efficiently neutralized all the venoms studied.

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