Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Pubic Lice (Pthirus pubis): History, Biology and Treatment vs. Knowledge and Beliefs of US College Students

By Alice L. Anderson and Elizabeth Chaney


Pubic lice (Pthirus pubis) maintain a worldwide parasitic population infesting two to over 10 percent of human populations, continuing a presence that has been constant since early evidence 10,000 years ago. Outbreaks in the 1970s have been recorded, but incomplete records preclude description of a definitive population cycle. Current levels of infestation in a US college student population were investigated in this study. Knowledge and opinions of students were also recorded in an online survey administered to college students taking a basic health course at a mid-sized East Coast University. In a group of 817 students, 35 reported experience with pubic lice or other STD infection. Knowledge, beliefs, and treatment attitudes were examined for the 782 students who did not have experience with either pubic lice or STD infection. These students deemed antibiotics as a viable treatment for pubic lice infestation. They also indicated negative attitudes toward the use of pesticide crèmes, which are the most useful prescription. Symptoms and transmission myths in student answers are described

Topics: Article
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central

Suggested articles


  1. (1995). class and self-reported sexually transmitted disease incidence. Fam. Planning Perspect.
  2. (2002). Crab louse infestation in pre-Columbian
  3. (2004). Ectoparasitic sexually transmitted diseases: Scabies and Pediculosis.
  4. (1992). Factors associated with pediculosis pubis and scabies.
  5. (1996). incidence, and determinants of syphillis in female commercial sex workers in Mexico City.
  6. (2004). Infestation of people with lice in
  7. (2005). Lice and scabies. Medicine
  8. (2003). Louse infestation of the Chiribaya culture, southern Peru: variation in prevalence by age and sex.
  9. (2002). Phthirus pubis as a predictor for chlamydia infections in adolescents.
  10. (2003). Phthirus pubis in a sexually transmitted disseases unit: a study of 14 years.
  11. (2001). Pubic lice in Roman and medieval Britain. Trends parasitol.
  12. (2007). Scabies and Pediculosis Pubis: An update of treatment regimens and general review.
  13. (2001). Secular trends in epidemiology of pediculosis capitis and pubis among Israeli soldiers: a 27-year follow-up.
  14. (2008). Sexual attitudes and behavior at four universities: do region, race, and/or religion matter? Adolescence
  15. (2003). Stigma as a barrier to treatment of sexually transmitted infection in the American deep south: issues of race, gender and poverty.
  16. (1996). The diagnosis and treatment of scabies and pubic lice. Primary Care Update for OB/GYNS
  17. (2006). The epidemiology, Diagnosis, Management, and prevention of Ectoparasitic diseases in travelers.
  18. (2008). The stigma of sexually transmitted infections: Knowledge, Attitudes, and an educationally-based intervention. Health Educ.
  19. Treatment of infestation with Phthirus pubis: comparative efficacies of synergized pyrethrins and gamma-benzene hexachloride.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.