B. Wong1,2, D. Tilakaratne1,2
Human scabies is a parasitic infection of the skin caused by the Sarcoptes scabies var. hominis mite. Mites burrow into the epidermis where they mate, reproduce, and complete their lifecycle. As an extremely pruritic disease, it can increase susceptibility to impetigo, invasive skin dis- ease, and sepsis. If co-infected with group A Streptococci, secondary sequelae include glomerulonephritis and rheu- matic heart disease.
Scabies infestation affects over two million people world- wide and is overrepresented in developing countries, tropi- cal climates, and under-resourced communities. In developed countries, scabies outbreaks occur most fre- quently in institutions such as nursing homes, prisons, and schools. Australia is unique in that it there is subnational discrepancy in disease burden with higher prevalence in Aboriginal communities when compared to the non- indigenous population1 .
Scabies was recently recognised by the World Health Organisation as a neglected tropical disease. Thus there is now an onus on the medical community to develop control strategies for both current disease burden and future out- breaks. Because current treatment strategies require chal- lenging multiple dose regimens, clinical trials are currently planned to evaluate a single dose treatment for scabies infestation.
This study describes a method for reﬂectance confocal microscopy in assessing mite morphology and response to treatment