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Deborah Z. Altschuler,a Michael Crutcher, MD, MPH, FACPM,b
Neculai Dulceanu, DVM, PhD (deceased),c Beth A. Cervantes,a
Cristina Terinte, MD, PhD,d and Louis N. Sorkin, BCEe

Abstract - Twenty individuals diagnosed with delusory parasitosis participated in a single site clinical study under the auspices of the National Pediculosis Association (NPA) and the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The objective of this study was to determine if there were any common factors in skin scrapings collected from this population. These individuals, whose symptoms were originally attributed to lice or scabies, were part of a larger group reporting symptoms of stinging/biting and/or crawling to the NPA. Multiple skin scrapings from each person were microscopically examined. Any and all fields of view that appeared incongruous to normal human skin were digitally photographed. When the photographic images were initially evaluated, no common factor was identified. However, more extensive scrutiny using imaging software revealed evidence of Collembola in 18 of the 20 participants.

full-version of the article (PDF format)

original microscopy images

videos related to the research

Literature Cited (2004)

Additional Information on Collembola

Ekbom's syndrome or real ectoparasitosis? An unexpected outcome of hidden springtails

"Collembola vs head lice: A puzzling case solved by videodermoscopy" (and it wasn't head lice!)

With the publication of these findings in the Journal of the New York Entomological Society, the NPA is compiling information regarding the prevalence of this condition.  (Please read our Privacy Policy)

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