Journal Article

Scanning Electron Microscopy of Human Head Louse (Anoplura: Pediculidae) Egg and its Clinical Ramifications

in Journal of Medical Entomology

Published on behalf of Entomological Society of America

Volume 36, issue 4, pages 454-456
Published in print July 1999 | ISSN: 0022-2585
Published online September 2014 | e-ISSN: 1938-2928 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jmedent/36.4.454
Scanning Electron Microscopy of Human Head Louse (Anoplura: Pediculidae) Egg and its Clinical Ramifications

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Pediculosis affects more elementary school students than all other communicable childhood diseases combined, excluding the common cold. The current study using scanning electron microscopy visualized operculums through which developing embryos received oxygen, as well as fracture lines within the adherent sheath by which the egg is attached to the hair. Using microscopic techniques, including freeze-fracturing, the mode of attachment of the sheath to the hair follicle was observed, in addition to the existence of several inner membranes enclosing the embryo within the egg structure. The chemical nature of the sheath is also analyzed using electron dispersive x-ray analysis.

Keywords: Pediculus humanus capitis; nit sheath; scanning electron microscopy

Journal Article.  1243 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Disease Ecology and Epidemiology ; Entomology

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