Critique of the Article “Collembola (Springtails) (Arthropoda: Hexapoda: Entognatha) Found in Scrapings from Individuals Diagnosed with Delusory Parasitosis”

  title={Critique of the Article “Collembola (Springtails) (Arthropoda: Hexapoda: Entognatha) Found in Scrapings from Individuals Diagnosed with Delusory Parasitosis”},
  author={Kenneth A. Christiansen and Ernest C. Bernard},
In a recently published paper, Altschuler et al. (2004) argued that Collembola (springtails) can cause “stinging/biting and/or crawling” sensations. The collembological community has been highly critical of this report, but has discussed this issue primarily among the members of this community. However, allegations that springtails cause various dermatological problems, severe itching, and related symptoms have made it into the widely read on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia (… 
Ekbom syndrome: the challenge of "invisible bug" infestations.
  • N. Hinkle
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Annual review of entomology
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Ekbom Syndrome sufferers exhibit a range of predictable behaviors in their attempts to eliminate their infestations, including seeking identifications and treatment from physicians and entomologists, and also experience comorbid psychological conditions.
Mad Scientist: The Unique Case of a Published Delusion
What responsibilities journals have when faced with delusions disguised as science, what right editors have to question the sanity of an author, and what should be done about the Traver paper itself are asked.
Ekbom’s syndrome or real ectoparasitosis? An unexpected outcome of hidden springtails
The medical risk for diagnostic confusion arising from the accidental discovery of insects in the human environment, especially when skin symptoms are reported, is focused on.
Sex differences in phenotypic plasticity affect variation in sexual size dimorphism in insects: from physiology to evolution.
Adaptive hypotheses proposed to explain sex differences in plasticity, including those that predict that plasticity will be lowest for traits under strong selection (adaptive canalization) or greatest for trait under strong directional selection (condition dependence), are explored.
Images are not and should not ever be type specimens: a rebuttal to Garraffoni & Freitas.
This rebuttal elaborate on the original Science submission in order to more fully address the issue without the length limitations.
Evidence of Photo Manipulation in a Delusional Parasitosis Paper
The altered figure in the article purporting to show a collembolan in a skin scraping represents creation of nonexistent data, a form of scientific misconduct, and peer-reviewed support for a conclusion that complicates patient treatment is demonstrated.


Twenty individuals diagnosed with delusory parasitosis participated in a single site clinical study under the auspices of the National Pediculosis Association and the Oklahoma State Department of Health, finding no common factor in skin scrapings collected from this population.
Biology of the springtails (Insecta--Collembola)
This book discusses interactions between Collembola and the abiotic environment, evolution, systematics, and biogeography, as well as investigating the role of chemicals in the development and life histories of these genera.
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  • Medicine, Psychology
    Reviews of infectious diseases
  • 1987
Patients who are erroneously convinced that they harbor dermatologic parasites present a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge to the practitioner; physicians must be familiar with the patterns of presentation usually seen in patients with delusions of parasitosis and confident that other psychiatric and/or medical conditions that could be causing the symptoms have been ruled out.
Delusional parasitosis and physical disease.
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  • Medicine, Psychology
    Comprehensive psychiatry
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Neuro-cutaneous Syndrome (NCS): A New Disorder
A new neuro-cutaneous syndrome (NCS) is described. It is characterized by neurological sensation of movement subcutaneously and/or in deeper tissues and cavities that is usually associated with
Psychosomatic dermatology.
Hoppstjärten Sira för första gången konstaterad I Sverige som besvärlig parasit på människa
  • Läkartidningen
  • 1955
Hoppstjärten Sira för första gången konstaterad I Sverige som besvärlig parasit på människa . [ The springtail Sira , a pesky human parasite , confirmed for the first time in Sweden . ]
  • Läkartidningen
  • 1955
A new family of Collembola ( Arthropoda , Tracheata )
  • Caribbean Journal of Science
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