Send to

Choose Destination
Lancet. 1994 Dec 24-31;344(8939-8940):1724-7.

Controlled study of malathion and d-phenothrin lotions for Pediculus humanus var capitis-infested schoolchildren.

Author information

Service de Médecine Interne, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, Paris, France.


Anecdotal reports have suggested that reduced efficacy of pediculicides against Pediculus humanus capitis could be related to resistance to treatments. Ovicidal and pediculicidal activities of 0.5% malathion and 0.3% d-phenothrin lotions were tested in an experimental model of P humanus capitis grown on rabbits to ensure that the two treatments were pharmacologically equipotent. We then did a randomised controlled trial in which the lotions were administered to 193 P humanus capitis-infested schoolchildren (malathion, 95; d-phenothrin, 98). Success rate was defined as the absence of both live lice and viable nits. Before treatment, live lice were collected and subjected to a pediculicidal test. Pharmacological tests showed 100% killing of the rabbit-grown nits and lice after exposure to both pediculicides. On day 1 of the controlled trial, the success rate was 92% in the malathion group (95% CI, 0.86-0.97) and 40% in the d-phenothrin group (0.30-0.49) (p < 0.0001); on day 7, it was 95% in the malathion group (0.90-0.99) and 39% in the d-phenothrin group (0.29-0.48, p < 0.0001). Malathion was also significantly more active in the pediculicidal tests compared to d-phenothrin and control. These results suggest an acquired resistance to d-phenothrin in the schoolchildren tested, since all other conditions of the administration of insecticides were standardised.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center