[Current epidemiology of pediculosis capitis]

Bull Acad Natl Med. 1990 Feb;174(2):231-6; discussion 236-7.
[Article in French]


In schools of Touraine-France--usually more than 15% of the children are infected with capitis (investigation performed in 1987 and 1988). This number (rate) is rather close to the one that obtained in previous two investigations (1974 and 1981). Hence Pediculosis is not progressing. It may however be noticed that, as more and more families become aware of this problem, more and more cures are undertaken (4,656,000 units sold in 1989 versus 2,793,000 in 1984. Then it seems that the most employed pediculosides (pyrethroïds) are less efficient than a few years ago. In fact lices are becoming resistant to these drugs. 4 kinds of complementary actions are in fact necessary: information of the public about the lice biology and necessity of SIMULTANEOUS COMMUNITY cures; prevalence analysis by means of standard sample grids; coordination of all the partners: city administration, medical, paramedical and social staff, family workers, teachers, even children judges... in view of actions from the personal level up to the global one; estimate of the effectiveness of these activities. This strategy, which has been experimented in Touraine, has proved its efficiency at short and long term: we have observed a durable decrease of pediculosis the prevalence of which has diminished from 18.3% down to 5.5% in the 3 school chosen as experiment locations.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Community Health Services
  • France
  • Humans
  • Lice Infestations / drug therapy
  • Lice Infestations / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Pyrethrins / therapeutic use
  • Scalp
  • Schools*


  • Pyrethrins