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December 1981

Human `Seed Tick' Infestation: Amblyomma americanum Larvae

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Dermatology, East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, NC.

Arch Dermatol. 1981;117(12):812-814. doi:10.1001/archderm.1981.01650120058026

Persons who frequent wooded areas in the southern part of the United States are likely to experience seed tick infestations. Seed ticks are the larval offspring of hard ticks. In the United States, human infestation with these minute creatures is probably limited to one species— Amblyomma americanum (the lone-star tick). Seed tick infestation in humans is not rare and is clinically important because ticks transmit disease transovarially.

By clinical inspection, the nature of this tiny organism is not obvious to the uninitiated. Therefore, I report herein an instructive case and suggest a possible method of removal of seed ticks.

Report of a Case  A 5-year-old boy was seen in July 1980 in eastern North Carolina. On the morning of the day of examination, the patient's mother had noted multiple "tiny bugs" attached to his scrotum and the lower part of his abdomen. She stated that he had been sitting in

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