How do lice move from person to person in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) and what infectious agents do they carry?

Updated: Aug 16, 2019
  • Author: Lyn C C Guenther, MD, FRCPC, FAAD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Lice move from person to person through close physical contact. Spread through contact with fomites (eg, combs, brushes, clothes, hats, scarves, coats, linens) used by an infested person is uncommon. [4] Overcrowding encourages the spread of lice. The body louse can be the vector of Rickettsia prowazeki, which causes typhus; Bartonella quintana, which causes trench fever; and Borrelia recurrentis, which causes relapsing fever.


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