Insights About Head Lice Transmission From Field Data and Mathematical Modeling

Authors
Toloza, Ariel Ceferino; Laguna, Maria Fabiana; Ortega Insaurralde, Isabel; Vassena, Claudia Viviana; Risau Gusman, Sebastian Luis
Publication Year
2018
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
Head lice infest millions of school-age children every year, both in developed and developing countries. However, little is known about the number of lice transferred among children during school activities, because direct methods to study this are almost impossible to implement. This issue has been addressed following an indirect method, which consist in collecting data of real infestation from several children groups and using a mathematical model of lice colonies to infer how the infestation observed might have evolved. By determining the events that would most likely lead to infestations as those observed, we find that severe infestations are most likely initiated by a relatively large number of lice transferred at the same moment or within relatively short time spans. In turn, analysis of the data obtained from screenings of the same groups of children a few days apart shows evidence of such transmission events. Interestingly, only children with severe infestations could harbor the lice necessary for this type of transmission. Thus, they play the same role as 'superspreaders' in epidemiology. As part of our experimental study it is also shown that a simple procedure of combing can be very effective to remove all mobile lice, and thus could be used as an effective preventive measure against those severe infestations that are responsible for the spread of pediculosis.
Fil: Toloza, Ariel Ceferino. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo Estratégico para la Defensa. Ministerio de Defensa. Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo Estratégico para la Defensa; Argentina
Fil: Laguna, Maria Fabiana. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina. Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica. Centro Atómico Bariloche; Argentina
Fil: Ortega Insaurralde, Isabel. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo Estratégico para la Defensa. Ministerio de Defensa. Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo Estratégico para la Defensa; Argentina
Fil: Vassena, Claudia Viviana. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo Estratégico para la Defensa. Ministerio de Defensa. Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo Estratégico para la Defensa; Argentina
Fil: Risau Gusman, Sebastian Luis. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina. Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica. Centro Atómico Bariloche; Argentina
Subject
ARGENTINA
EPIDEMIOLOGY
MATHEMATICAL MODEL
PEDICULUS HUMANUS CAPITIS
Zoología, Ornitología, Entomología, Etología
Ciencias Biológicas
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Access level
Restricted access
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ar/
Repository
CONICET Digital (CONICET)
Institution
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
OAI Identifier
oai:ri.conicet.gov.ar:11336/82180