Head lice are hematophagous ectoparasitic insects, specific to humans and spending their entire life on their host. Humans are parasitized by two species of lice: The human louse, Pediculus humanus, which appears in two ecotypes, the head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis and the body louse, Pediculus humanus humanus. The second species is the pubic louse, Pthirus pubis. Infestation with lice can cause dermatitis and pruritus and sometimes secondary infections and lymphadenopathy.
Since the early years of the 20th century, it has been known that body lice are vectors of three pathogenic bacteria: a) Rickettsia prowazekii, the agent of epidemic typhus; b) Borrelia recurrentis, the agent of louseborne relapsing fever; and c) Bartonella quintana, the agent of trench fever. Lately, body lice were also shown to be vectors of Acinobacter baumannii, an aerobic Gram-negative bacterium, which is resistant to most antibiotics.
Is the Head Louse, Pediculus humanus capitis Vector of Human Diseases?- Mumcuoglu KY
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Last date updated on June, 2014