Prevalence of nits and lice in samples of cut hair from floors of barbershops and beauty parlors in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais State, Brazil

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1988
Authors:P. Marcos Linardi, De Maria, M., Botelho, J. Ramiro, Cunha, H. C., Ferreira, J. B.
Journal:Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Pagination:471 - 474
Date Published:1988
ISBN Number:0074-0276
Keywords:adult, animals, Barbering, child, Cross-Sectional Studies, hair, humans, Lice Infestations/epidemiology, Pediculus, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Socioeconomic Factors

A louse survey based on samples of cut hair collected from floors of barbershops and beauty parlors was conducted in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, from October 1984 to April 1985, as an alternative way to determine the prevalence of pediculosis capitis in the population. Of 475 samples examined for nits, nymphs, or adults of Pediculus capitis, 140 were infested (29.5%). A total of 58 lice and 3,553 nits were found in 33,632.9 g of hair collected, giving a ratio of 0.10 nit/g. Almost 29% of the nits were viable and capable of being transmitted after hatching. There was significant difference among the infestation rates by socioeconomic levels, and samples from barbershops with male customers were the most infested. Based upon the number of haircuts in each sample, we estimated that 5 or 6% of the population might be infested by this species.

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