Sarcoptes infestation in two miniature pigs with zoonotic transmission – a case report


Abstract Background Scabies is a contagious skin disease rarely described in miniature pigs. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, a zoonotic transfer from infected pet pigs to humans has not been reported previously. Case presentation This case report describes the infestation with Sarcoptes scabiei mites in two miniature pigs presenting with unusual clinical signs, and disease transmission to a child. Two 7-month-old male castrated miniature pig siblings were examined. Both had developed skin lesions, one animal was presented for neurological signs and emaciation. They were housed together in an indoor- and outdoor enclosure. Dermatological examination revealed a dull, greasy coat with generalized hypotrichosis and multifocal erythema. Microscopic examination of skin scrapings, impression smears of affected skin and ear swabs revealed high numbers of Sarcoptes mites in both animals as well as bacterial overgrowth. A subcutaneous injection of ivermectin 0.3 mg/kg was administered to both animals and repeated after 2 weeks. Both miniature pigs received subcutaneous injections with butafosfan and cyanocobalamin, were washed with a 3% chlorhexidine shampoo and were fed on a well-balanced diet. Pig enclosures were cleaned. The infested child was examined by a physician and an antipruritic cream was prescribed. Both miniature pigs and the child went into clinical remission after treatment. Conclusion Sarcoptic mange is rare or even eradicated in commercial pig farming in many countries but miniature pigs may represent a niche for Sarcoptes scabiei infections. This case report indicates that miniature pigs kept as pets can efficiently transmit zoonotic disease to humans. In addition, these animals may represent a niche for Sarcoptes scabiei infestation in countries where sarcoptic mange in commercial pig farms has been eradicated and could therefore pose, a hazard for specific pathogen free farms

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