Secular trends in the epidemiology of pediculosis capitis and pubis among Israeli soldiers: A 27-year follow-up Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Background Pediculosis capitis and pubis are not mandatorily reported diseases in most countries. Thus, the reported rates of these diseases in large populations are usually inaccurate and based on estimations. Objective To describe the global epidemiology of pediculosis capitis and pubis in the Israeli Defense Force. Methods We analyzed the data obtained from the routine and mandatory reporting of every individual case of pediculosis capitis and pubis to the Army Health Branch Epidemiology Department since 1972 and 1973, respectively. Results During this period, epidemics of pediculosis capitis and pubis were observed between 1973 and 1985 and 1972 and 1987, with 17.7- and 3.9-fold increases in incidence, respectively. These two epidemics were followed by a sharp decline in morbidity (113.6- and 13.6-fold between 1981 and 1999 and 1984 and 1999, respectively) to the present. Conclusions A number of factors could be responsible for the observed decline in morbidity, e.g. socioeconomic, pharmacologic, environmental, or prevention policy modifications. The rates of pediculosis capitis and pubis have continuously declined since the last epidemic of 1972–1987, indicating the influence of these and possibly other factors.

publication date

  • January 1, 2001