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March 15, 1952


JAMA. 1952;148(11):941. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930110063017

Hurlbut1 and associates of the Eighth U. S. Army in Korea report that contrary to their expectations routine application of 10% DDT powder to a large group of military personnel during the winter and spring of 1951 resulted only in a steady increase in their infestation with body lice. Since previous laboratory experiments had shown that DDT resistant strains of houseflies can be developed by selective breeding, the army officers compared the DDT resistance of local body lice with that of routine laboratory strains. They found that when groups of 20 local lice were confined within treated sleeves, which could be worn, thus permitting normal feeding, from 40 to 60% of them remained alive at the end of 48 hours exposure to DDT powder. Under similar conditions there was a 100% mortality among standard laboratory strains of body lice. Local lice were also reared throughout their entire life cycle

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