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Spotlight: head and body lice management

Tackling head lice can be difficult due to the high rate of reinfection. This article looks at the use of newer available treatments and how best to solve the problem

Head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) are obligate, ectoparasites that live on the hair of the human scalp. Body lice (Pediculus humanus corporis) are morphologically identical to head lice, but are behaviourally distinct. Body lice, as the name suggests, never go up to the scalp, while the head lice do not deliberately descend on to the body – although they may drop onto the shoulders. They therefore occupy non-overlapping habitats. This territorial separation may have occurred as a form of adaptation to the human innovation of clothing. The body lice are found hiding in the clothing and attaching their eggs to


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