Host immune responses to the itch mite, Sarcoptes scabiei, in humans

Parasit Vectors. 2017 Aug 10;10(1):385. doi: 10.1186/s13071-017-2320-4.


Scabies is a parasitic disease due to infestation of skin by the burrowing mite Sarcoptes scabiei. Scabies is a major public health problem and endemic in resource poor communities worldwide affecting over 100 million people. Associated bacterial infections cause substantial morbidity, and in severe cases can lead to renal and cardiac diseases. Mite infestation of the skin causes localised cutaneous inflammation, pruritus, skin lesions, and allergic and inflammatory responses are mounted by the host against the mite and its products. Our current understanding of the immune and inflammatory responses associated with the clinical manifestations in scabies is far outweighed by the significant global impact of the disease. This review aims to provide a better understanding of human immune responses to S. scabiei in ordinary and crusted scabies phenotypes.

Keywords: Crusted scabies; Cytokines; Immune responses; Sarcoptes scabiei; Scabies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Humoral
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Sarcoptes scabiei / immunology*
  • Scabies / immunology*
  • Scabies / parasitology
  • Skin / immunology
  • Skin / parasitology


  • Cytokines