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Keywords:

  • chigoe;
  • ectoparasite;
  • prophylaxis;
  • therapy;
  • Tunga penetrans;
  • tungiasis

Abstract

Tungiasis is a cutaneous ectoparasitic infestation by the female sand flea Tunga penetrans. It is predominantly a health problem in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and South America. However, increasing numbers of returning travellers, immigrants, and adopted children are also affected in non-tropical countries. It is a cause of substantial morbidity, with prevalence rates as high as 76% in certain endemic areas. To date, the early extraction of the flea is still the first line therapy.