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Concept: Body louse


Pediculosis capitis is a worldwide health problem. One of the most important factor in effective head lice eradication is to ensure that infestation is adequately recognized and treated. Our survey investigated the knowledge and practice among primary care Italian pediatricians regarding to the prevention and treatment of head lice.

Concepts: Health care, Public health, Head louse, Pediculosis, Body louse, Louse, Treatment of human head lice, Head-louse infestation


Pediculosis is a prevalent parasitic infestation of humans, which is increasing due, in part, to the selection of lice resistant to either the pyrethrins or pyrethroid insecticides by the knockdown resistance (kdr) mechanism. To determine the extent and magnitude of thekdr-type mutations responsible for this resistance, lice were collected from 138 collection sites in 48 U.S. states from 22 July 2013 to 11 May 2015 and analyzed by quantitative sequencing. Previously published data were used for comparisons of the changes in the frequency of thekdr-type mutations over time. Mean percent resistance allele frequency (mean % RAF) values across the three mutation loci were determined from each collection site. The overall mean % RAF (±SD) for all analyzed lice was 98.3 ± 10%. 132/138 sites (95.6%) had a mean % RAF of 100%, five sites (3.7%) had intermediate values, and only a single site had no mutations (0.0%). Forty-two states (88%) had a mean % RAF of 100%. The frequencies ofkdr-type mutations did not differ regardless of the human population size that the lice were collected from, indicating a uniformly high level of resistant alleles. The loss of efficacy of the Nix formulation (Prestige Brand, Tarrytown, NY) from 1998 to 2013 was correlated to the increase inkdr-type mutations. These data provide a plausible reason for the decrease in the effectiveness of permethrin in the Nix formulation, which is the parallel increase ofkdr-type mutations in lice over time.

Concepts: Evolution, United States, U.S. state, Pyrethroid, Head louse, Pediculosis, Body louse, Louse


Head lice infestation, a worldwide head infestation caused Pediculus humanus capitis De Geer, is an important public health problem in Thailand. Several chemical pediculicides have lost in efficacy due to increasing resistance of lice against insecticide. Therefore, non-toxic alternative products, such as natural products from plants, e.g. plant extract pediculicides, are needed for head lice control. The aims of this study were to evaluate the potential of pediculicidal activity of herbal shampoo base on three species of Thai local plants (Accacia concinna (Willd.) DC, Averrhoa bilimbi Linn. and Tamarindus indica Linn.) against head lice and to compare them with carbaryl shampoo (Hafif shampoo®; 0.6 % w/v carbaryl) and non-treatment control in order to assess their in vitro. Doses of 0.12 and 0.25 ml/cm(2) of each herbal shampoo were applied to filter paper, and ten head lice were place on the filter paper. The mortalities of head lice on the filter paper were recorded at 1, 5, 10, 30 and 60 min by sterio-microscope. All herbal shampoos at 0.25 ml/cm(2) were more effective pediculicide than carbaryl shampoo with 100 % mortality at 5 min. The median lethal time (LT(50)) of all herbal shampoos at 0.25 ml/cm(2) showed no significant differences over at 0.12 ml/cm(2) (P < 0.01). The most effective pediculicide was T. indica extract shampoo, followed by Av. bilimbi extract shampoo and Ac. concinna extract shampoo, with LT(50) values <1.0 min. Our data showed that all herbal shampoos have high potential of pediculicide to head lice treatments for schoolchildren.

Concepts: Head louse, Pediculosis, Body louse, Louse, Lice, Crab louse, Treatment of human head lice, Averrhoa bilimbi


Head lice infestation is still a public health problem worldwide, with an intracountry and intercountry prevalence variation of 0.7 to 59 %. There is a large variety of over-the-counter anti-louse products, but their efficacy is not always well assessed. Our objective was to test the pediculicidal and ovicidal efficacy of 21 over-the-counter head louse products, available in France during the period of 2008 to 2012. We tested children living in Tours City in central France and visiting preschools, primary schools, kindergarten, camps, and child care facilities, as well as children in their family houses, and were examined for the presence of lice. The products were collected from randomly selected pharmacies by covert investigators and then tested in the laboratory on an ex vivo sample of head lice and their eggs, collected from the hair of infested children. Living lice and unharmed eggs were collected from the scalps of 3-12 years old. The laboratory conditions for ex vivo testing mimicked the manufacturers' instructions for exposure time and application method. In 21 runs, 3919 living lice and 4321 undamaged living eggs were collected from the scalp of over 400 children. The 21 products were classified in three groups: 6 products in a group of potentially 100 % pediculicidal activity and potentially 100 % ovicidal activity, 8 products in a group of potentially 100 % pediculicidal activity but insufficient ovicidal activity (including 2 products with claims of single application treatment), and 7 products in a group of insufficient pediculicidal activity and ovicidal activity. The pharmaceutical market for head lice products in France is swamped with poorly tested and ineffective products. Rigorous efficacy testing preregistration and periodic screening and testing of effectiveness in the post-registration period should be endorsed by the health authorities.

Concepts: Head louse, Pediculosis, Body louse, Louse, Lice, Crab louse, Treatment of human head lice, Head lice


Pediculosis is a frequent public health problem. The pattern and prevalence of Pediculosis is dependent on many socio-demographic and economic factors. It is common in schoolchildren especially primary level; it may affect their learning performance. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of head louse among primary students, in Fayoum and Bagor districts, and explore the predisposing factors of head louse infestation in both public and private schools. The study was a cross-sectional descriptive study, conducted in two governorates: Fayoum and Minofiya governorates which represent upper and lower Egypt respectively during the academic year of 2012-2013. The students were selected from different grades with a total of 10,935 students. The prevalence of head lice in the study group was 16.7 %. The incidence was higher in public schools 20.7 % than private schools 9.04 % and in girls 25.8 % more than boys, especially covered hair girls 6.2 %. There was a socio-demographic influence of louse infestation on residence, presence of water supply, number of house rooms, and number of family member. It is concluded that head lice are a common childhood problem related to poor hygiene and socioeconomic status. There is a need for collaboration effort between family, school, community, and media, to create an environment that establishes healthy behaviors and health promotion.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Primary education, Head louse, Pediculosis, Body louse, Louse, Crab louse, Head-louse infestation


Head lice infestation (or pediculosis) is an important public health problem in Thailand, especially in children between the ages 5 and 11 years. Head lice resistance is increasing, chemical pediculicides have lost their efficacy, and, therefore, alternative pediculicides such as herbal shampoos have been proposed to treat head lice infestation. Thus, the present study investigated the efficacy of three herbal shampoos based on native plants in Thailand (Acorus calamus Linn., Phyllanthus emblica Linn., and Zanthoxylum limonella Alston) against head lice and compared them with carbaryl shampoo (Hafif shampoo®, 0.6 % w/v carbaryl), malathion shampoo (A-Lice shampoo®, 1.0 % w/v malathion), and commercial shampoos (Babi Mild Natural' N Mild® and Johnson’s baby shampoo®) in order to assess their in vitro and in vivo efficacy. For in vitro study, doses of 0.12 and 0.25 ml/cm(2) of each herbal shampoo were applied to filter paper, then 10 head lice were place on the filter paper. The mortalities of head lice were recorded at 5, 15, 30, and 60 min. The results revealed that all herbal shampoo were more effective on pediculicidal activity than chemical and commercial shampoos with 100 % mortality at 15 min; LT50 values ranged from 0.25 to 1.90 min. Meanwhile, chemical shampoos caused 20-80 % mortality, and LT50 values ranged from 6.50 to 85.43 min. On the other side, commercial shampoos showed 4.0 % mortality. The most effective pediculicide was Z. limonella shampoo, followed by A. calamus shampoo, P. emblica shampoo, carbaryl shampoo, malathion shampoo, and commercial shampoo, respectively. In vivo results showed that all herbal shampoos were also more effective for head lice treatment than chemical and commercial shampoos with 94.67-97.68 % of cure rate after the first treatment; the second treatment, 7 days later, revealed that the cure rate was 100 %. Meanwhile, chemical shampoo showed 71.67-93.0 % of cure rate and, unfortunately, commercial shampoos were nontoxic to head lice and showed 0 % of cure rate after the first and the second treatments. Our data showed that three herbal shampoos of native plants in Thailand in this study are suitable to be used as pediculicides for Thai children since it is safe for children and there is no side-effect after application.

Concepts: In vitro, Head louse, Pediculosis, Body louse, Louse, Crab louse, Treatment of human head lice, Sweet Flag


An 11-year-old child presented with poor school attendance, and signs and symptoms of severe anaemia. He was heavily covered in lice. He was investigated for other causes of anaemia. Following treatment for head lice and also iron supplementation, he was back in full-time education. This case highlights the link between head lice (pediculosis capitis) infestation and iron-deficiency anaemia.

Concepts: Bleeding, Iron deficiency anemia, The Link REIT, Teacher, Head louse, Pediculosis, Body louse, Louse


Epidemic typhus is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Rickettsia prowazekii and transmitted by body lice (Pediculus humanus corporis). This disease occurs where conditions are crowded and unsanitary. This disease accompanied war, famine, and poverty for centuries. Historical and proxy climate data indicate that drought was a major factor in the development of typhus epidemics in Mexico during 1655-1918. Evidence was found for 22 large typhus epidemics in central Mexico, and tree-ring chronologies were used to reconstruct moisture levels over central Mexico for the past 500 years. Below-average tree growth, reconstructed drought, and low crop yields occurred during 19 of these 22 typhus epidemics. Historical documents describe how drought created large numbers of environmental refugees that fled the famine-stricken countryside for food relief in towns. These refugees often ended up in improvised shelters in which crowding encouraged conditions necessary for spread of typhus.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Rickettsia, Famine, Head louse, Body louse, Louse, Epidemic typhus


Head lice infestation (HLI) caused by Pediculus humanus capitis has been a public health problem worldwide. Specially designed combs are used to identify head lice, while anti-lice products are applied on the scalp for treatment. In the present study, we aimed to test whether combing only by precision detection comb (PDC) or metal pin comb (MPC) could be effective alternatives to the use of anti-lice products in children. A total of 560 children from two rural schools in Turkey were screened. In the PDC trial, children were combed every second day for 14 days, while in the MPC trial, combing was performed once in every four days for 15 days. Children were divided into two groups (dry combing and wet combing) for both trials and results were compared. The results showed no significant differences between dry and wet combing strategies for both combs for the removal of head lice (p > 0.05). The number of adult head lice declined significantly on each subsequent combing day in both approaches, except on day 15 in the MPC trial. In the end, no louse was found in 54.1 and 48.9 % of children in the PDC and MPC trials, respectively. Since family members of infested children were not available, they were not checked for HLI. Four times combing within 2 weeks with MPC combs was found effective for both treatment of low HLI and prevention of heavy HLI. In conclusion, regular combing by special combs decreases HLI level in children and is safely applicable as long-term treatment.

Concepts: Head louse, Pediculosis, Body louse, Louse, Lice, Crab louse


In poor African countries, where no medical and biological facilities are available, the identification of potential emerging pathogens of concern at an early stage is challenging. Head lice, Pediculus humanus capitis, have a short life, feed only on human blood and do not transmit pathogens to their progeny. They are, therefore, a perfect tool for the xenodiagnosis of current or recent human infection. This study assessed the occurrence of bacterial pathogens from head lice collected in two rural villages from Mali, where a high frequency of head lice infestation had previously been reported, using molecular methods. Results show that all 600 head lice, collected from 117 individuals, belonged to clade E, specific to West Africa. Bartonella quintana, the causative agent of trench fever, was identified in three of the 600 (0.5%) head lice studied. Our study also shows, for the first time, the presence of the DNA of two pathogenic bacteria, namely Coxiella burnetii (5.1%) and Rickettsia aeschlimannii (0.6%), detected in human head lice, as well as the DNA of potential new species from the Anaplasma and Ehrlichia genera of unknown pathogenicity. The finding of several Malian head lice infected with B. quintana, C. burnetii, R. aeschlimannii, Anaplasma and Ehrlichia is alarming and highlights the need for active survey programs to define the public health consequences of the detection of these emerging bacterial pathogens in human head lice.

Concepts: Bacteria, Africa, Coxiella burnetii, Pathogen, Head louse, Pediculosis, Body louse, Louse