Scabies Mites Sarcoptidae

Genus: Sarcoptes scabiei.

Adults: Tiny, white, disk-shaped, numerous dorsal pegs; four (4) pairs of short fat legs, mouthparts project anteriorly; smaller males

— suckers on the fourth pair of legs. Diseases: Scabies (female tunnels — fecal pepper spots, larval moulting pockets, pruritic allergic rash); Norwegian crusted scabies in immuno-compromised hosts, often homeless persons. Mechanism: Highly contagious on close contact

— holding hands, sharing beds and clothing, overcrowding — refugees; females burrow into thin skin on hands, scrotum, buttocks; mating occurs in thin twisting mating tunnels and larvae form moulting pockets in hair follicles. Eggs: Females mature — mate in moulting pocket, then tunnel into epidermis, feed on lymph and stratum corneum, lay 1-3 eggs, hatch in 3-5 days.

Larvae: Six-legged and resemble adults; create a moulting pocket within a hair follicle and mature into nymphs.

Nymphs: Eight (8) legs; males surface then burrow into moulting pockets to fertilize young females, which then remain in their tunnels to lay eggs.

Control: Topical 20-25% benzoyl benzo-nate, liquid sulfur (Mitigal®, Tetmosol®), 0.5% malathion.

Prevention: Improve personal hygiene, washing and not sharing clothes and bedding.

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