Breaking News
April 24, 2019 - Study finds involuntary staying in housing estates to be a potential health risk
April 24, 2019 - Older kidney disease patients starting dialysis die at higher rates than previously thought
April 24, 2019 - Time-restricted eating shows promise for controlling blood glucose levels
April 24, 2019 - Research provides important insight on the brain-body connection
April 24, 2019 - In 10 Years, Half Of Middle-Income Elders Won’t Be Able To Afford Housing, Medical Care
April 24, 2019 - Researchers study how E. coli clones have become major cause of drug-resistant infections
April 24, 2019 - Bacterial and fungal toxins found in popular electronic cigarettes
April 24, 2019 - Texting helps improve medication adherence, health outcomes for patients with schizophrenia
April 24, 2019 - Cochrane Review looks at different ways to use nicotine replacement therapies
April 24, 2019 - New review on relationship between COPD and Type 2 diabetes
April 24, 2019 - Brain areas linked to memory and emotion aid odor navigation in humans
April 24, 2019 - Brain stimulation reverses age-related memory loss
April 24, 2019 - Amid Opioid Prescriber Crackdown, Health Officials Reach Out To Pain Patients
April 24, 2019 - $4 million NIH award will help establish UCI Skin Biology Resource-based Center
April 24, 2019 - Cancer drugs reprogram genes in breast tumors to prevent endocrine resistance, finds study
April 24, 2019 - Combination-imaging technique provides new window into macaque brain connections
April 24, 2019 - Researchers identify new allergen responsible for allergy to durum wheat
April 24, 2019 - Researchers define role of rare, influential cells in the bone marrow
April 24, 2019 - DNA rearrangement may predict poor outcomes in multiple myeloma
April 24, 2019 - FDA Approves Skyrizi (risankizumab-rzaa) for Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis
April 24, 2019 - Combination therapy might be beneficial in schizophrenia
April 24, 2019 - Blood test can help match cancer patients to early phase clinical trials
April 24, 2019 - Women tend to underreport snoring and underestimate its loudness
April 24, 2019 - Comprehensive molecular test introduced for diagnosis of malaria caused by P. vivax parasites
April 24, 2019 - New range prediction approach increases accuracy, safety and tolerability of proton therapy
April 24, 2019 - Need for Sedation Up for Regular Cannabis Users
April 24, 2019 - Lack of access to antibiotics is a major global health challenge
April 24, 2019 - New study provides better understanding on safety of deworming programs
April 24, 2019 - EEG used to detect impact of maternal stress on neurodevelopment in 2-month-old infants
April 24, 2019 - FDA Approves First Generic Naloxone Nasal Spray Against Opioid Overdose
April 24, 2019 - A new way of finding compounds that prevent aging
April 24, 2019 - Mechanical training makes synthetic hydrogels perform more like muscle
April 24, 2019 - Study provides new insights into regulatory T cells’ role in protecting against autoimmune disease
April 24, 2019 - Pregnant women with type 1 diabetes are at greater risk of preterm birth
April 24, 2019 - ‘Tummy tuck’ can be safely performed in obese patients with no increase in complications
April 23, 2019 - ‘First’ 3-D print of heart with human tissue, vessels unveiled
April 23, 2019 - Which blood-based method works best to detect TB?
April 23, 2019 - Gene therapy cures infants suffering from ‘bubble boy’ immune disease
April 23, 2019 - Chemical-sampling wristbands detect similar exposures across three continents
April 23, 2019 - Management of Residual Limb Pain
April 23, 2019 - Molecular clock influences immune cell responses
April 23, 2019 - On the importance of culture, partnerships and diversity at the Dean’s Lecture Series
April 23, 2019 - Siddhartha Mukherjee Receives Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing About Science
April 23, 2019 - Dengue mosquito poses greatest danger of spreading Zika virus in Australia
April 23, 2019 - Scientists identify 104 high-risk genes for schizophrenia
April 23, 2019 - Abdominal etching can help patients to get classic ‘six-pack abs’ physique
April 23, 2019 - Alvogen Inc. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Fentanyl Transdermal System Due to Product Mislabeling
April 23, 2019 - Skype hypnotherapy is effective treatment for IBS
April 23, 2019 - The future hope of “flash” radiation cancer therapy
April 23, 2019 - Bicycling, Recycling, and Beyond: Public Safety to Host Shred Fest and Bike-to-Campus Day 
April 23, 2019 - Skipping breakfast linked with increased risk of death from heart disease
April 23, 2019 - Neuroscientists propose new theory about amyloid precursor protein connection in Alzheimer’s
April 23, 2019 - Mediterranean diet protects against overeating and obesity
April 23, 2019 - NUS scientists uncover novel biomarkers linked with ‘chemobrain’
April 23, 2019 - Novel ECCITE-seq technique expands multimodal single cell analysis
April 23, 2019 - Half of all American workplaces offer health and wellness programs
April 23, 2019 - Hypnosis may offer a genuine alternative to painkillers
April 23, 2019 - Sleep loss greatly interferes with job performance
April 23, 2019 - Study shows how elderberry fruit can help fight against influenza
April 23, 2019 - Parkinson’s sufferers regain mobility with new implant
April 23, 2019 - Perinatal Complications Tied to Childhood Social Anxiety
April 23, 2019 - Research reveals how immune cells help tumors escape body’s defenses
April 23, 2019 - UAB receives $17 million grant to explore immune cells in inaccessible tissues of the human body
April 23, 2019 - Opening blocked arteries may be lifesaver for older heart attack patients
April 23, 2019 - Yposkesi chairman to speak on ‘Manufacturing and the CDMO Perspective’ at Cell and Gene Meeting
April 23, 2019 - Listeria Outbreak Linked to Deli Meats, Cheeses in 4 States
April 23, 2019 - Scientists find another way HIV can hide from vaccines
April 23, 2019 - Improved WIC food packages reduced obesity risk for children, study finds
April 23, 2019 - EU ban on ‘meaty’ names for veggie food products would affect public sector
April 23, 2019 - KNAUER self-tests gender pay gap one month after Equal Pay Day
April 23, 2019 - Johns Hopkins study reports overdiagnosis of schizophrenia
April 23, 2019 - New approach to repair defects in fetal membranes could prevent life-long medical conditions
April 23, 2019 - Reviving the heart’s regenerative capacities using microRNAs
April 23, 2019 - New pediatric blood pressure guidelines can better predict kids at higher risk of heart disease
April 23, 2019 - Second HIV remission patient rekindles cure hope
April 23, 2019 - Sparse Treatment Options Complicate Cancer Care For Immigrants In South Texas
April 23, 2019 - Hole-forming protein could help control cancer growth
April 23, 2019 - Study examines factors associated with low use of hearing aids among older Hispanic/Latino adults
April 23, 2019 - Changes to Medicare rules could support care innovation for dialysis
April 23, 2019 - Cancer patients requiring emergency department care have better outcomes at original hospital
What happens when sand fleas burrow in your skin?

What happens when sand fleas burrow in your skin?

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
What happens when sand fleas burrow in your skin?
Ectopic localization of embedded sand fleas on the back of the hand. Credit: Feldmeier, et al. (2018)

Tungiasis, a tropical disease associated with poverty, is caused by the penetration of female sand fleas into a person’s skin, usually in their toes or feet. This week in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, researchers report five cases of severe tungiasis to illustrate how the disease may develop into a life-threatening condition.

When the female sand flea (Tunga penetrans or Tunga trimamillata) penetrates the skin, it begins quickly growing. Within days, this growth causes intense inflammation with pain and itching. Generally, once all eggs are expelled into the environment through a tiny hole in the skin and the parasite has died, symptoms regress. But in endemic settings, residents are frequently re-infected and end up with hundreds or thousands of embedded sand fleas. While mild cases of tungiasis with a few embedded sand fleas can be treated surgically (if adequate health infrastructure is available), in very severe tungiasis surgical removal of embedded sand fleas is not possible.

In the new work, Hollman Miller, of the Vaupés Health Department, Colombia, and colleagues studied five patients living in traditional Amerindian communities in the Amazon lowland of Colombia who all presented with very severe tungiasis. Four of the patients were seen in the emergency department of the Mitú hospital, one within the community she was living in.

The patients, who were all partially or fully immobile, each had between 400 and 1,300 penetrated sand fleas in their feet, ankles, knees, elbows, hands, fingers and around the anus. Two patients were cachectic, with weight and muscle loss; one had severe malnutrition; and one needed a blood transfusion due to severe anemia. The authors show that a characteristic pattern of pre-existing medical conditions and socio-economic and environmental factors determines whether tungiasis progresses into a life-threatening condition. In addition, they confirmed that a combination of two dimeticone oils in a medical device called the NYDA (previously used for treating headlice) is effective in killing hundreds of embedded sand fleas resulting in resolution of inflammation and restoration of mobility within a week.

“Our findings are a good argument to make a call for action for those countries in which tungiasis occurs in remote settings and where health coverage is poor,” the researchers say. “Dimeticone should be made available to treat patients in an early stage of disease to avoid life-threatening sequels.”


Mobile workers in north Ethiopia vulnerable to visceral leishmaniasis transmission


More information:
Miller H, Ocampo J, Ayala A, Trujillo J, Feldmeier H (2019) Very severe tungiasis in Amerindians in the Amazon lowland of Colombia: A case series. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 13(2): e0007068. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007068


Provided by
Public Library of Science

Citation:
What happens when sand fleas burrow in your skin? (2019, February 7)
retrieved 11 February 2019
from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-02-sand-fleas-burrow-skin.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles