The spider has three pairs of eyes and an inverted violin-shaped brown spot on the top of the insect Photo: UNAM

It is called “Reclusmyn” it has an average price of  $16,000 pesos ($835 USD) and depending on the amount of poison a person would need one or more doses

The bite of a violinist spider is a medical emergency that must be treated immediately, because the venom causes irreversible tissue damage, such as ulceration of the skin, necrosis, and even death.

With innovative technological processes that prevent the extraction of toxin directly from the arachnid, from recombinant poisons, a Mexican pharmaceutical company (Laboratorios Silanes) developed a fourth-generation antidote called Reclusmyn that neutralizes the toxicity of this spider.

Although Cofrepris suspended its comercialization in 2016 until more tests would be performed, it is currently in circulation and for sale, however they estimate its cost at approximately $16,000 pesos ($835 USD) per dose.

When a person is bitten by a violinist spider, it is usually by accident, when moving objects in dark, dry places where the arachnid hides and reacts when it feels threatened.

In Mexico, 37 types of violinist spiders have been detected. Photo: UNAM

It may take a few hours for the individual to become aware of the situation, seeing that the affected area is inflamed and reddish, in addition to feeling pain. It is best to apply an antidote as soon as possible to reduce health risk.

“Approximately five percent of accidents can lead to a serious form of intoxication in which case it could also present acute renal failure, disorientation, lung injury, destruction of red blood cells and death,” said Jorge Gonzalez, scientific director of the company that developed the antivenom.

The so-called violin spider awoke fear last year in at least six states of Mexico where its presence has been detected, after it claimed the lives of two babies, one in the state of Nayarit and the other in Chiapas.

Also known in Mexico as “spider of the corners” as it hides in dark dry corners, the arachnid can be brown or gray with a mark on its back shaped like a violin. It has three pairs of eyes that allow it to have a 300 degree vision,  and it has one of the most dangerous and deadly poisons for humans.

The bite of this type of spider is very serious. “The critical stage is the first 24 hours, and sometimes up to 48 hours when you begin to see the effects. The reaction begins with a sore that expands and produces a quite considerable tissue necrosis (or death of tissue) ,” explained Alejandro Valdez Mondragón, professor at the Tlaxcala headquarters of the Institute of Biology (IB) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)Our country is home to at least 37 types of this species, mainly in the states of Chiapas, Coahuila, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Nayarit and Puebla”, the expert  explained. 

Once someone has been bitten by the insect and begins to show manifestations such as pain and swelling in the affected area, and blisters begin to appear, it is recommended to go immediately to the hospital, as the poison begins to travel through the body, in a second stage, convulsions may appear as well as anaphylaxis.  The venom is capable of altering the immune system, quickly affecting organs such as kidneys, liver and lungs.

 

The Yucatan Times
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