Searching for the toxic potential of Loxosceles amazonica and Loxosceles willianilsoni spiders’ venoms

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The Loxosceles genus belongs to the Sicariidae family and it comprises species whose venom can cause accidents with potentially fatal consequences. We have previously shown that SMase D is the enzyme responsible for the main pathological effects of Loxosceles venom. Despite the severity of accidents with Loxosceles, few species are considered to be of medical importance. Little is known about the venom of non-synanthropic species that live in natural environments. To contribute to a better understanding about the venom's toxicity of Loxosceles genus, the aim of this study was to (i) characterize the toxic properties of Loxosceles amazonica from two different localities and a recent described cave species Loxosceles willianilsoni and (ii) compare these venoms with that from Loxosceles laeta, which is among the most toxic ones. We show here that both L. amazonica venoms (from the two studied locations) and L. willianilsoni presented SMase D activity similar to that exhibited by L. laeta venom. Although L. amazonica and L. willianilsoni venoms were able to induce complement dependent human erythrocytes lysis, they were not able to induce cell death of human keratinocytes, as promoted by L. laeta venom, in the concentrations tested. These results indicate that other species of Loxosceles, in addition to those classified as medically important, have toxic potential to cause accidents in humans, despite interspecific variations that denote possible less toxicity.
Lopes PH, Fukushima CS, Shoji RF, Tambourgi DV. Searching for the toxic potential of Loxosceles amazonica and Loxosceles willianilsoni spiders’ venoms. Toxicon. 2020 Feb;191:1-8. doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2020.12.006.
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