E-ISSN 2146-3077
Original Article
Prevalence of Head Lice in Two Socio-economically Different Schools in the Center of Izmir City, Turkey
1 Department of Biology, Ege University Faculty of Medicine, İzmir, Turkey  
2 Department of Sociology, Institute of Social Sciences, Ege University, İzmir, Turkey  
3 Department of Parasitology, Ege University Faculty of Medicine, İzmir, Turkey  
Turkiye Parazitol Derg 2014; 38: 32-36
DOI: 10.5152/tpd.2014.3447
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Key Words: Pediculus capitis, socioeconomic level, Turkey

Objective: The well-known and common infestation caused by Pediculus humanus capitis is an important public health and a social issue in many communities in the world. The aim of this study was to compare the head louse infestation rate in two schools having pupils from different socio-economic levels in the city center of Izmir.


Methods: The pupils aged between 6 and 11 years, were screened for the presence of eggs and nymph/adult lice using a fine-tooth head louse comb.


Results: A total of 88 and 126 pupils from the schools with low and medium socio-economic level were screened and 24 (27.2%) and 5 (3.96%) of them were found to be positive for head lice, respectively. Overall, the infestation rate among girls was 3.14 times higher than in boys.



Conclusion: Head louse infestation is a significant public health problem among primary schools. Increasing the knowledge about pediculosis and self-hygiene would be helpful in successfully reducing head louse infestation in the school setting. School authorities must encourage the parents to look for head lice routinely and a “school nurse” system is needed for effective head louse control in the schools. 

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