Scanning electron microscopy of human head louse (Anoplura: Pediculidae) egg and its clinical ramifications

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1999
Authors:C. N. Burkhart, Burkhart, C. G., Gunning, W. T., Arbogast, J.
Journal:Journal of Medical Entomology
Pagination:454 - 456
Date Published:1999
ISBN Number:0022-2585
Keywords:animals, humans, Microscopy, Electron, Scanning, Ovum/ultrastructure, Pediculus, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, scalp dermatoses

Pediculosis affects more elementary school students than all other communicable childhood diseases combined, excluding the common cold. The current study using scanning electron microscopy visualized operculums through which developing embryos received oxygen, as well as fracture lines within the adherent sheath by which the egg is attached to the hair. Using microscopic techniques, including freeze-fracturing, the mode of attachment of the sheath to the hair follicle was observed, in addition to the existence of several inner membranes enclosing the embryo within the egg structure. The chemical nature of the sheath is also analyzed using electron dispersive x-ray analysis.

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