Answer to Image Challenge 12: Body Louse Infestation (Pediculosis)

March 1, 20090 comments

Lice (singular=Louse) infestation is generally known as Pediculosis. They are the parasitic insects which spend its entire life on human hair and feeds exclusively on blood.

Human lice infestations include,
Head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis)
Body louse (Pediculus humanus humanus)
Pubis or Crab louse (Phthirus pubis)

The insect shown in the picture (Image Challenge 12) is body louse i.e., Pediculus humanus humanus, sometimes called Pediculus humanus corporis.

The body louse is indistinguishable in appearance from the head louse and under laboratory conditions they will interbreed. In their natural state, however, the two subspecies do not interbreed and occupy different habitats. In particular, body lice have evolved to attach their eggs to clothes, whereas head lice attach their eggs to the base of hairs.

Clinical significance:
Body lice (Pediculus humanus humanus), are known to be a vector of epidemic or louse-borne typhus (Rickettsia prowazeki), trench fever (Rochalimaea quintana) and louse-borne relapsing fever (Borrellia recurrentis) whereas Head lice and Crab lice are not known to be a vectors of diseases.

And... the winner is Ms. Mullai - for having answered the questions complete & correct.

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