BACKGROUND Human head lice and body lice have been classified based on phenotypic characteristics, including geographical source, ecotype (preferred egg laying site hair or clothes), shape and color. More recently, genotypic studies have been based on mitochondrial genes, nuclear genes and intergenic spacers. Mitochondrial genetic analysis reclassified lice… (More)
BACKGROUND Body louse or head louse? Once removed from their environment, body and head lice are indistinguishable. Neither the morphological criteria used since the mid-18th century nor the various genetic studies conducted since the advent of molecular biology tools have allowed body lice and head lice to be differentiated. In this work, using a portion… (More)
Since the 1800s, the only known vector of Borrelia recurrentis has been the body louse. In 2011, we found B. recurrentis DNA in 23% of head lice from patients with louse-borne relapsing fever in Ethiopia. Whether head lice can transmit these bacteria from one person to another remains to be determined.
ID code homeless persons Lice collected from body Lice collected from head Lice tested B. quintana no. (%) Lice tested
Three different lineages of head lice are known to parasitize humans. Clade A, which is currently worldwide in distribution, was previously demonstrated to be present in the Americas before the time of Columbus. The two other types of head lice are geographically restricted to America and Australia for clade B and to Africa and Asia for clade C. In this… (More)