Resistance and the control of lice on humans and production animals

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2000
Authors:G. Levot
Journal:International Journal for Parasitology
Pagination:291 - 297
Date Published:2000
Keywords:animals, Animals, Domestic, humans, insecticide, Insecticide Resistance, Lice Infestations/prevention & control/veterinary, organophosphate, Pediculus, plants, Pyrethrum, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, sheep, Sheep Diseases/prevention & control

Phthiraptera (lice) are specialised insects adapted to parasitise many warm-blooded vertebrates, including domestic animals and humans. Often, attempts by the host to alleviate the irritation created by lice, causes derangement of the hair/fur coat. Unless treated, this derangement may cause economic losses due to hide damage and/or downgrading of wool/hair/fur. In 1981, application of aqueous insecticide solutions (dipping) for the control of sheep body lice (Bovicola ovis) was largely superseded by off-shears pyrethroid "pour-on" treatments. By 1985, several field failures with these products were found to be due to low-level (20x) insecticide resistance. In 1990, high-level (640x) resistance was diagnosed in a New South Wales population. However, despite 30+years use, organophosphate-based products are still usually effective. Until recently, cattle lice caused little concern. Treatments were applied mainly for aesthetic reasons when cattle were to be presented for sale, and also to prevent damage to fences by rubbing cattle. However, the introduction of quality-management programmes have raised awareness of the economic losses due to hide damage associated with lice infestations. Emerging industries such as emu and alpaca farming have raised the pest status of other louse species, and necessitated insecticidal intervention. In humans, attempts to control head lice, Pediculus humanus capitis, infestations have repeatedly failed around the world.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith