Diagnostic Parasitology

Sarcoptes scabei

Scabies is a highly contagious infestation caused by Sarcoptes scabei, the itch mite. The adults are microscopic and burrow into the skin where the females deposit eggs.  Diagnosis is made by examining the skin with a hand held magnifying lens looking for the adults. In addition, skin scrappings and tissue sections can reveal adults (215-390 µm long), ova (170 x 90 µm), and fecal pellets (30 x 15µm). 

Scabies skin lesion

Skin Lesion

S. scabei adult


S. scabei ovum



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Copyright 2008 Don Lehman