ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

The Prevalence of Pediculus Humanus Capitis and Tinea Capitis Among Elementary School Students in Edirne
Müşerref Tatman Otkun 1, Nermin Şakru 1, Metin Otkun 1, Muharrem Cidem 2, Burçin Özer 3, Arzu Ertem 3
1Trakya Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Mikrobiyoloji ve Klinik Mikrobiyoloji Anabilim Dalı, Edirne
2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Bağcılar Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey
3Trakya Üniversitesi Sağlık Bilimleri Enstitüsü Mikrobiyoloji Anabilim Dalı, Edirne
Pages : 82-87


Objectives: In this study, we aimed to determine the prevalences of pediculus humanis capitis and tinea capitis and the causative agents of tinea capitis in elementary school children in Edirne.

Materials and Methods: A total of 12,868 students from 34 elementary schools were scanned in April and May 2003. Samples of skin scrapings and hair roots were collected from students with hair and scalp lesions. Specimens were evaluated microscopically by KOH, and were inoculated into agar slants of Sabouraud dextrose agar with cycloheximide.

Results: Eggs, nits or adult forms of head lice were detected in 698 (5.4%) students. The prevalence of head lice was significantly higher in girls (10.3%) than in boys (0.9%) (p<0.001). The infestation rate was the lowest below seven years of age (3.4%, p<0.001). Infestation rate was also high in families with low socioeconomic conditions (p<0.001). Tinea capitis was not detected in any of the students.

Conclusion: Pediculus humanis capitis was found to continue to be a public health problem in Edirne. The following conclusions were drawn for its eradication: periodic scanning of the students by families, teachers, and health professionals should be implemented; affected children should be properly treated; health facilities should be improved; and continuous education should be given to prevent its spread.

Keywords : Child; lice/epidemiology/prevention and control; pediculosis; tinea capitis/epidemiology

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