Japanese Journal of Infectious Diseases
Online ISSN : 1884-2836
Print ISSN : 1344-6304
ISSN-L : 1344-6304
Original Articles
Venom and Antivenom of the Redback Spider (Latrodectus hasseltii) in Japan. Part I. Venom Extraction, Preparation, and Laboratory Testing
Takayuki MatsumuraReona MashikoTomomi SatoKentaro ItokawaYoshihide MaekawaKohei OgawaHaruhiko IsawaAkihiko YamamotoShigemi MoriAkira HoritaAkihiro GinnagaYoshinobu MiyatsuMotohide TakahashiHisashi TakiToru HifumiKyoko SawabeManabu Ato
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2018 Volume 71 Issue 2 Pages 116-121


The redback spider (Latrodectus hasseltii Thorell) reportedly invaded Japan in September 1995. To date, 84 redback spider bite cases have been reported; 7 of these cases employed the antivenom. Antivenom has been imported from Australia in the past, but because of restrictions on exportation it was evident that nearly all of the antivenom present in Japan would expire during 2014. In 2014, a plan was proposed to experimentally manufacture and stockpile a horse antiserum for ourselves, using redback spiders indigenous to Japan. A total of 11,403 female spiders were captured alive: 1,217 from the vicinity of Nishinomiya City, Hyogo prefecture, and 10,186 from Osaka prefecture. Of these, 10,007 females were dissected, and the venom was extracted from the venom glands of individuals and subjected to crude purification to yield 4 lots, of which the majority was α-latrotoxin. Among them, a large amount of single lots with an estimated protein content of 236 mg is subsequently scheduled to be used for immunizing horses. We also determined lethal toxicity of the venom (LD50: 9.17 μg per mouse), and established the assay for the determination of an anti-lethal titer of antivenom in mice.

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