What's eating you? Pediculus humanus (head louse and body louse)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1999
Authors:D. M. Elston
Pagination:259 - 264
Date Published:1999
Keywords:adult, animals, carbaryl, child, Diagnosis, Differential, Drug Combinations, humans, insecticide, Ivermectin/therapeutic use, Lice Infestations/diagnosis/drug therapy, Lindane/therapeutic use, malathion, Pediculus, Permethrin, Piperonyl Butoxide, Pyrethrum, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Trimethoprim

Head lice remain a common problem worldwide. As resistance to available therapeutic agents can emerge rapidly, there is a need for continued research to find new and better agents. Until better agents are available, clinicians may find that rotational therapy, using different agents, may help to slow the emergence of resistance. Physical modalities, such as mechanical nit and louse removal and occlusive agents to asphyxiate the lice, should not be ignored, especially in light of our limited therapeutic armamentarium. All therapeutic agents are doomed to failure if infestation is allowed to recur. Classmates, playmates, and family members of infested children should be inspected for head lice. Efforts should be directed at fomite control and nit removal. Louse infestation must be addressed as a community-wide problem. Body lice remain important vectors of disease. War, natural disaster, and poverty favor the spread of body lice. As we work to solve these seemingly eternal problems, we must develop better agents to treat infestation and prevent the spread of body lice.

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