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J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2009 Aug;7(8):667-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1610-0387.2009.07140.x. Epub 2009 Jun 8.

Tropical rat mites (Ornithonyssus bacoti) - serious ectoparasites.

[Article in English, German]

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Pfizer GmbH Animal Health, Berlin, Germany.


In Germany there is limited information available about the distribution of the tropical rat mite (Ornithonyssus bacoti) in rodents. A few case reports show that this hematophagous mite species may also cause dermatitis in man. Having close body contact to small rodents is an important question for patients with pruritic dermatoses. The definitive diagnosis of this ectoparasitosis requires the detection of the parasite, which is more likely to be found in the environment of its host (in the cages, in the litter or in corners or cracks of the living area) than on the hosts' skin itself. A case of infestation with tropical rat mites in a family is reported here. Three mice that had been removed from the home two months before were the reservoir. The mites were detected in a room where the cage with the mice had been placed months ago. Treatment requires the eradication of the parasites on its hosts (by a veterinarian) and in the environment (by an exterminator) with adequate acaricides such as permethrin.

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