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August 1978

Cheyletiella Infestation of Cats and Their Owners

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine, Medical Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (Dr Fox), and the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Rochester (NY) Medical Center (Dr Reed).

Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(8):1233-1234. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640200085029

European reports have revealed that ectoparasites from animals can be a common cause of skin disease in humans.1-3 Few reports in the United States, however, have dealt with parasite-induced dermatitis in man. This report details the diagnosis and clinical correlation of Cheyletiella infestation in cats and their owners.

Report of Cases  Case 1.—A 32-year-old woman had a pruritic dermatitis for one week. Papular lesions were observed on both wrists, arms, abdomen, chest, and thighs. Raised erythematous papules occurred singly or in groups and were 1 to 5 mm in diameter. Early lesions were seen initially as erythematous macules and developed central papules 2 to 5 mm in diameter that frequently became pustular. Old lesions had central areas of necrosis. Pruritus was marked, and became intense when the patient entered a warm environment. The pruritus and appearance of her lesions were most severe after close contact with her pet cats.

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