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Medical Term:

Sarcoptes scabiei

Pronunciation: sar-kop'tez ska'be-i

Definition: Formerly Acarus scabiei, the itch mite, varieties of which are distributed worldwide and affect humans, horses, cattle, swine, sheep, dogs, cats, and many wild animals; serious and fatal infections are not uncommon in untreated animals. Although considered to belong to a single species, they do not readily pass from one host to another of a different animal species; transitory infections of this type do occur, however, especially from various animals to humans, and are spread by direct contact. The mite burrows into the skin and lays eggs within the burrow; intense itching and rash develop near the burrow in about a month.

See: scabies, mange

[sarco- + G. kopto, to cut; L. scabies, scurf]

© Copyright 2016 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.