Prevalence of Pediculus capitis in schoolchildren in Battambang, Cambodia

Chien Wei Liao, Po Ching Cheng, Ting Wu Chuang, Kuan Chih Chiu, I. Chen Chiang, Juo Han Kuo, Yun Hung Tu, Yu Min Fan, Hai Tao Jiang, Chia Kwung Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Purpose: Pediculus capitis is the most common human ectoparasite. When it feeds on the blood through the scalp of its host, the anticoagulant in its saliva causes scalp inflammation and itching, and consequent scratching by the host causes further inflammation from bacterial infection. P. capitis infestation is currently a common parasitic dermatosis and a critical public health concern in underdeveloped countries. Methods: Through naked eye inspection of P. capitis on or in the hair from 323 school children in Cambodia. Results: A total of 143 children (44.3%) were found to have P. capitis infestation. Univariate analysis revealed that girls had a significantly higher infection rate than boys. Overall, young aged schoolchildren (10 yrs old ≤) showed significantly higher infection rate than old aged schoolchildren (>10 yrs old). Groups stratified by time revealed that schoolchildren studied at the afternoon classes than morning classes in Tuol Prum Muoy Primary School had a significantly higher risk in acquisition of P. capitis infestation. Multivariate analysis results indicated that relative to the boys, the girls were at a significantly higher risk of contracting P. capitis infection. When stratified by inspection time with the Tuol Prum Muoy Primary School morning classes as the reference, the Tuol Prum Muoy Primary School afternoon classes exhibited a significantly higher risk of P. capitis infection. Conclusion: Primary school children in Cambodia have a high P. capitis infection rate and thus require effective treatment and prevention measures to treat symptoms and lower the infection rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-591
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Cambodia
  • Pediculus capitis
  • Schoolchildren

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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