Content » Vol 100, 100-year theme: Cutaneous and genital infections (April)


The Management of Scabies in the 21st Century: Past, Advances and Potentials

Charlotte Bernigaud, Katja Fischer, Olivier Chosidow
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3468


Scabies is one of the most common skin diseases worldwide, affecting 150–200 million people yearly. Scabies affects young children in particular, and has the greatest impact in poor overcrowded living conditions. The burden of the disease is now well characterized, including group A Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus bacterial superinfections, with reports of nephritis, acute rheumatic fever, or fatal invasive sepsis secondary to scabies. Management of scabies remains largely suboptimal from diagnosis to treatment, and progress in the development of new therapeutic measures leading to cure is urgently needed. This review gives an overview of the current limitations in the management of scabies, an update on recent advances, and outlines prospects for potential improvements.


Scabies is more than just a disease that provokes a horrendous itch. For more than a century, researchers, clinicians and public health physicians, together with policymakers, have worked to improve the management of scabies. Finally, in 2017, scabies was added to the WHO list of neglected tropical diseases after a long and still ongoing process of documenting the morbidities and burden caused by the disease. This additional and increased research activity, resulting in high-impact publications, has increased our knowledge of the biology, pathology and management of scabies, and has opened doors to new strategies.

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