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J Med Entomol. 2006 Jan;43(1):110-2.

First molecular evidence of Bartonella quintana in Pediculus humanus capitis (Phthiraptera: Pediculidae), collected from Nepalese children.

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Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Toyama 1-23-1, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Trench fever is a body louse-borne disease caused by Bartonella quintana Brenner. The recent status of louse infestation in Nepalese children is not well known. We collected head and body lice, Pediculus humanus capitis De Geer and Pediculus humanus humanus L., respectively, from 30 children, including 11 cases of double infestation with both head and body lice. Detection of B. quintana in both louse species identified was carried out by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR products with B. quintana DNA sequences were detected in both head and body lice from two children as well as in body lice derived from two other children. These results demonstrate that head lice may also play a role in the transmission of trench fever.

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