Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Malevolent Designer News - The Widow's Bite

The Noble False Widow Spider, Steatoda nobilis
Study Finds Noble False Widow Spiders Bite Can Transmit Harmful Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria to Humans - NUI Galway

Readers of my latest book, The Malevolent Designer: Why Nature's God is not Good, will be familiar with very many examples of the malevolence on the part of any designer who could come up with so much pure evil in nature, so they will hardly be surprised at this latest example of its evil genius.

Researchers at NUI Galway, Ireland have discovered that the otherwise harmless bite of the Noble False Widow spider, Steatoda nobilis, now spreading as an invasive species in Britain and Ireland, can inject antibiotic resistant bacteria, causing a serious and intractable infection at the site of the bite.

Having probably been bitten on my wrist by one of the False Widows currently inhabiting my garage, I can testify to the intense itching, raised blister and swelling they can cause. Fortunately, apart from a slightly swollen hand there were no lasting effects and it cleared up within about a week or so, without treatment.

The NUI Galway press release explains:
This new research, published in the international journal Scientific Reports, confirms a theory which has been debated among spider and healthcare specialists for many years, and explains a range of symptoms experienced by victims bitten by the invasive noble false widow spider in Ireland and Britain over the past decade.

Australian Black Widows or Funnel Web spiders are well known for their potentially deadly venom, but rare “skin-eating” conditions following seemingly harmless European and North American spider bites were thought to be the result of secondary infections caused by the victim scratching and probing the bite site with contaminated fingers. This new study shows that not only do spiders carry harmful bacteria, but those germs can be transmitted when a spider uses its fangs to bite.

Furthermore, many spiders have been shown to have venom with antibacterial activity and it is often debated as to whether the venom would neutralise bacteria at the bite site, but this also demonstrates, at least for the Noble False Widow, that the venom does not inhibit bacteria.

Dr Aoife Boyd, Director of the Pathogenic Mechanisms Group at NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, and senior author of the study, said: “The diversity of microbes never ceases to amaze me. The power to survive and thrive in every environment is shown here by the presence of antimicrobial resistance bacteria even in spider venom. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an urgent and growing problem worldwide. A One Health approach interconnecting human, animal and environmental health is the only way to tackle the problem.”

Dr John Dunbar, Zoologist at the Ryan Institute’s Venom System Lab in NUI Galway, said: “About 10 species of spiders common in North-western Europe have fangs strong enough to pierce human skin and deliver venom, but only one of them, the recent invasive noble false widow spider, is considered of medical importance. Most of the time, a spider bite results in some redness and pain.

“In some cases, however, victims seem to develop long lasting infections for which strong antibiotic treatment - and sometimes a hospital stay - are necessary. It is this increasing range expansion and massive rise in dense populations of false widow spiders around urbanised areas across Ireland and Britain that has seen a rise in bites with some severe envenomation symptoms but also infections, which in some cases proved even difficult to treat with antibiotics.”

Neyaz Kahn, co-lead author of the study and PhD student at the Pathogenic Mechanisms Group in NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, said: “Our study demonstrates that spiders are not just venomous but are also carriers of dangerous bacteria capable of producing severe infections. The biggest threat is that some of these bacteria are multi-drug resistant, making them particularly difficult to treat with regular medicine. This is something that health care professionals should consider from now on.”
The team's findings were published open access a couple of days ago in Scientific Reports:


The false widow spider Steatoda nobilis is associated with bites which develop bacterial infections that are sometimes unresponsive to antibiotics. These could be secondary infections derived from opportunistic bacteria on the skin or infections directly vectored by the spider. In this study, we investigated whether it is plausible for S. nobilis and other synanthropic European spiders to vector bacteria during a bite, by seeking to identify bacteria with pathogenic potential on the spiders. 11 genera of bacteria were identified through 16S rRNA sequencing from the body surfaces and chelicerae of S. nobilis, and two native spiders: Amaurobius similis and Eratigena atrica. Out of 22 bacterial species isolated from S. nobilis, 12 were related to human pathogenicity among which Staphylococcus epidermidis, Kluyvera intermedia, Rothia mucilaginosa and Pseudomonas putida are recognized as class 2 pathogens. The isolates varied in their antibiotic susceptibility: Pseudomonas putida, Staphylococcus capitis and Staphylococcus edaphicus showed the highest extent of resistance, to three antibiotics in total. On the other hand, all bacteria recovered from S. nobilis were susceptible to ciprofloxacin. Our study demonstrates that S. nobilis does carry opportunistic pathogenic bacteria on its body surfaces and chelicerae. Therefore, some post-bite infections could be the result of vector-borne bacterial zoonoses that may be antibiotic resistant.

From a intelligent [sic] design advocate's perspective, what we have here is yet another example of malevolent intent on the part of whatever designer they like to assume is behind every living thing. Firstly, it designed these bacteria to make humans sick, then redesigned them to make them resistant to the antibiotics human medical science had devised because the immune system this designer had given us to protect us from its designs wasn't up to the job, in another twist of the arms race it seems to be waging against us, then it created a delivery system to inject them into our skin in the form of these spiders when they use their bite to try to defend themselves from us.

And, as a special twist, it's added a little extra in the form of resistence to the antibacterial effects of normal spider venom!

I'll leave a creationists to try to explain the thinking of their putative designer whom they equate to a supposedly loving, omnibenevolent deity who only wants the best for its favourite creation, as the only explanation I have for such an entity, if it were really nothign more than an inherited superstition, would be a despicable, sadistic, mendacious monster who enjoys inventing yet more unpleasant ways to make its creations suffer.

To the acute embarrassment of creationists, the only explanation for these natural horrors that doesn't leave a creator looking like this is the scientifically accepted process of evolution that their cult's dogma requires them to dismiss. Instead they are obliged to promote one which leaves their creator looking mendacious and despicable, and not the sort of creature a normal person would want their children to worship or look to for help and moral guidance.

submit to reddit

No comments :

Post a Comment

Obscene, threatening or obnoxious messages, preaching, abuse and spam will be removed, as will anything by known Internet trolls and stalkers, by known sock-puppet accounts and anything not connected with the post,

A claim made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Remember: your opinion is not an established fact unless corroborated.

Sady, the spammer is back so you'll need to sign on to post comments.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Web Analytics