Infestation is common, found worldwide, and affects people of all races. Body lice infestations spread rapidly under crowded conditions where hygiene is poor and there is frequent contact among people.Lice (Phthiraptera)Body Lice (Pediculus humanus humanus)Morphologically almost indistinguishable from head liceSlightly larger, larger claws, correlates with coarser hairMajor differences behavioral:1.Are on host only to blood feed, then retreat to clothing2.Attach eggs to clothing3.More resistant to lower temperature and humidityLice (Phthiraptera)EggsThey are generally easy to see in the seams of clothing, particularly around the waistline and under armpits. Nits may also be attached to body hair. They are oval and usually yellow to white. Nits may take 30 days to hatch. Lice (Phthiraptera)NymphsNymphs looks like an adult body louse, but is smaller. Nymphs mature into adults about 7 days after hatching. To live, the nymph must feed on blood.Lice (Phthiraptera)AdultsThe adult body louse is about the size of a sesame seed and is tan to greyish-white. To live, adult lice need to feed on blood. If the louse falls off of a person, it dies within 10 days.
8Lice (Phthiraptera)SymptomsThe first symptom associated with body is itching. Scratching can lead to further skin irritation due to infection, especially if lice feces are present. Body lice are very small, so close, careful inspection is necessary in order to determine their presence. TransmissionBody lice are spread directly through contact with a person who has body lice, or indirectly through shared clothing, beds, bed linens, or towels.Lice (Phthiraptera)Treatment and preventionBody lice are relatively easy to control by implementing a few simple steps. Regular changing and laundering of clothes (especially underwear), or disposal of affected clothing, will control lice. Using a hot water wash on clothes, followed by ironing will ensure all lice and nits have been killed. An increased level of personal hygiene with regular bathing or showering is essential for control. Dry cleaning or tumble drying affected items at >60oC for 15 minutes is another method of effectively killing lice and eggs.Lice (Phthiraptera)Genome sequence of the body louseIn 2005 the body louse genome was one of seven non-mammalian organisms chosen this year for the program and one of three targeted for a high-quality sequence.In Feb 2007, the first draft of the human body louse genome (Pediculus humanus humanus) was released on VectorBase.The genome is exceptional in that it is the smallest insect genome known.Lice (Phthiraptera)Pubic Lice (Phthirus pubis)Also called "crabs," pubic lice are parasitic insects found in the genital area of humans. Infection is common and found worldwide.
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Head louse, Pediculosis, Body louse, Crab louse, Louse, Relapsing fever