Resistance of head lice to pyrethroids induces difficult therapeutic problems. Previous studies demonstrated that this resistance was present in a French urban area, but its prevalence needed to be more precisely evaluated in terms of genotyping lice collected from more infested children over a certain period of time. We monitored the presence of the head lice kdr-like haplotype of the voltage-gated sodium channel α-subunit gene in schoolchildren seen three times on a 6-wk period. The prevalence of pediculosis was 2.39% (n = 1551). Genotyped lice (n = 167) were homozygous resistant in all but one pupil. The high frequency of the mutant haplotype (0.93) advocated for the abandonment of pyrethroid insecticides in this area and for the consideration of other treatment options.
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Vol. 48 • No. 1