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January 1944

Biology of Acarus Scabiei

Author Affiliations

By Reuben Friedman, M.D. Price $3.00. Pp. 176, with 112 illustrations. New York: Froben Press, Inc., 1942.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1944;49(1):86. doi:10.1001/archderm.1944.01510070089016

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The author, an authority on scabies, has published two previous books and contributes a most comprehensive account of the biology of Sarcoptes scabiei. The first chapter contains information about mites in general, and the second relates the story of the slow evolution of knowledge of scabies. The first part of the third and main chapter is devoted to minute anatomic descriptions of the male and female sarcoptes, nymphs, larvae and eggs; the second part deals with the biologic features of the organisms and includes detailed accounts of their habits.

Among the many curious facts about sarcoptes cited, the following appears particularly interesting: The name acarus, from Greek [unk], which means uncuttable or indivisible, refers to the minute size of sarcoptes, which was long thought to represent the smallest possible living form and was therefore often called a "living atom" by sixteenth and seventeenth century writers. The

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