Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Microbiol Infect. 2012 Apr;18(4):338-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2012.03806.x.

Insecticide resistance in head lice: clinical, parasitological and genetic aspects.

Author information

  • 1Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Avicenne, Bobigny, Cedex, France.


Insecticide treatment resistance is considered to be a major factor in the increasing number of infestations by head lice. The large insecticide selection pressure induced by conventional topical pediculicides has led to the emergence and spread of resistance in many parts of the world. Possible mechanisms of resistance include accelerated detoxification of insecticides by enzyme-mediated reduction, esterification, oxidation that may be overcome by synergistic agents such as piperonyl butoxide, alteration of the binding site, e.g. altered acetylcholinesterase or altered nerve voltage-gated sodium channel, and knockdown resistance (kdr). Clinical, parasitological and molecular data on resistance to conventional topical pediculicides show that treatments with neurotoxic insecticides have suffered considerable loss of activity worldwide. In particular, resistance to synthetic pyrethroids has become prominent, probably because of their extensive use. As other treatment options, including non-insecticidal pediculicides such as dimeticone, are now available, the use of older insecticides, such as lindane and carbaryl, should be minimized, owing to their loss of efficacy and safety concerns. The organophosphorus insecticide malathion remains effective, except in the UK, mostly in formulations that include terpineol.

© 2012 The Authors. Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2012 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk