The Rise in Bed Bugs

Prevention, Management, and Treatment

Mallory C. McKenzie, RPh, PharmD; Edward M. DeSimone II, RPh, PhD, FAPhA


US Pharmacist. 2012;37(8):47-50. 

In This Article

Transmission of Disease

Investigators have theorized for many years that bed bugs may serve as vectors for transmission of disease. In order for a bed bug to do this, many steps would need to occur. The insect would have to be able to acquire an infectious pathogen, maintain it, and then be able to transmit it to another organism. Over 45 different pathogens have been suspected to be carried by bed bugs, including HIV and hepatitis B.[1] Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have been reportedly isolated from bed bugs as well.[12] Although bed bugs may have the ability to carry many pathogens, at this time there is not a single proven case of bed bug transmission of disease to humans. Further investigations are necessary to determine if bed bugs play a role in disease transmission.