The elimination of scabies: a task for our generation


  • Conflicts of interest: None.


Florence McLean, ba

Green Templeton College, 43 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HG, UK



Scabies prevalence remains unacceptably high in many regions throughout the world. Infestation with scabies significantly impacts quality of life and is linked to pyoderma and consequently to severe long-term sequelae such as post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis. In the past, control programs using topical treatments have met with poor compliance; however, the highly effective oral agent ivermectin may offer a new paradigm in scabies management. Problems still exist with insensitive diagnostic tests, questions concerning mite reservoirs, and restrictions on who can receive ivermectin. Despite these difficulties, the elimination of scabies in communities worst affected may soon be possible.