Larry G. Arlian Department of Biological Sciences, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio 45435 HISTORY OF SCABIES Scabies is a contagious disease of humans and other mammals. It is caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei, which burrows in the lower stratum corneum of the skin. Scabies was one of the first diseases in humans with a known cause (41 , 85). The Italians Giovanni Cosimo Bonomo and Diancinto Cestoni first described and illustrated the mite in 1689 in a now-famous letter to Francesco Redi (2, 80, 89). However, it was not until 200 years later that scabies was generally accepted as a parasitic disease (85). Endemic and enzootic levels of human and animal scabies, respectively, continue to occur despite the availability of various therapies. Currently, sporadic outbreaks and epidemics in communities (17, 22, 23, 44, 59, 69, 82-85, 91 , 94, 1 02, 1 1 9), nursing homes (74, 90), schools (54), hospitals (24, 48, 62, 97), and other institutions (73) and epizootics in wild and domestic animal populations (18, 45, 47, 56, 57, 68, 80, 93, 106, 1 11 ) are frequently reported. Historically, epidemics of human scabies have occurred on a worldwide basis in 30-year cycles with
Annual Review of Entomology – Annual Reviews
Published: Jan 1, 1989
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