The prevalence of Pediculus capitis among School Children in Fars Province, Southern Iran


Background: Pediculus capitis or head louse infestation affects millions of children worldwide, especially those in the 5-11 years age group. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of head pediculosis among school children in ur­ban and rural areas of Fars Province, southern Iran.
Methods: All school children of age 6-11 yr from both genders in all urban and rural areas of the province were screened for head louse infestation by examination of their hair and scalps. Parents of all infested children were also exam­ined. The study was repeated in different seasons in the same areas. Moreover, infested children were treated with 5% permethrin shampoo and re-examined one week later for any relapse.
Results: The general prevalence of head louse infestation in primary school students was 0.49% in autumn, 0.37% in win­ter and 0.20% in spring. In the mentioned seasons, the prevalence of P. capitis was higher among females and in ru­ral areas (P=0.001). Although treatment with permethrin shampoo failed in females, it was successful in all infected males from both regions in autumn and spring and in males from urban areas in winter.
Conclusion: Head louse infestation is uncommon among Fars Province school children in rural and urban areas and should not be considered a public health priority. However, due to the higher prevalence of pediculosis in low socioeco­nomic group and rural area in our region, it seems that health promotion, particularly early detection and effec­tive management strategies should target this group in the province.

IssueVol 4 No 2 (2009) QRcode
Pediculus capitis Head louse infestation School children Iran

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How to Cite
Davarpanah M, Mehrabani D, Khademolhosseini F, Mokhtari A, Bakhtiari H, Neirami R. The prevalence of Pediculus capitis among School Children in Fars Province, Southern Iran. Iran J Parasitol. 1;4(2):48-53.