We compared the cytb sequences obtained in our study with known head and body louse
sequences from the 5 P.
The body louse
as a vector of reemerging human diseases.
The research also sequenced the genome of a microbe that lives inside the body louse
Epidemic typhus is caused by bacteria (Rickettsia prowazekii) that infect the alimentary tract of the body louse
In the United States, body louse
infestation mainly affects homeless populations.
The body louse
is 1/16 inch long, straw-colored, and moves about the skin surface near the vent, thighs and underside of the body.
Three types of lice infest humans: the head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis), the body louse
(Pediculus humanus corporis), and the pubic louse (Phthirus pubis).
Adult: The adult body louse
is about the size of a sesame seed, has 6 legs, and is tan to greyish-white.
Epidemic typhus is caused by Rickettsia prowazekii and is transmitted when an infected body louse
takes a blood meal and then defecates.
Nicolle decided that the contagious agent must be connected with the old clothes, and he suspected the body louse
, which exists everywhere among human beings where the chance for frequent washing of clothes and body does not exist.
recurrentis and transmitted by the human body louse
After a genetic analysis of the louse genome, the researchers learnt that "it was impossible to distinguish the head louse from the body louse
at the genetic level," National Geographic Society reported.
The insect has been an unwelcome companion to humans probably from the beginning, as have its close relatives, the body louse
and the public or crab louse (see accompanying article page 4).
In nature, the only relevant vector is the body louse
, which feeds only on humans; no other reservoir for this infection is known (1,3).
Although generally despised, the blood-sucking human body louse
, Pediculus humanus, has gained newfound popularity among scientists for a surprising genetic feature.