Hosts, Reservoirs, and Vectors



Sarcoptes scabiei is an obligate parasite that relies on the human host for survival. Scabies mites can live for only 2-3 days away from the human host but can survive for much longer - up to a month - living off the host. There are no reservoirs or vectors associated with scabies. In classical scabies, only 5-15 adult female mites live off of the human host.


Pets, particularly domestic cats, dogs, pigs, sheep, goats, and horses can become infected with scabies and act as carriers. The 'mange' mite is similar in appearance to the human mite, but the prevailing view is that Sarcoptes scabiei in various species are actually different types of the same mite which have evolved and adapted to a specific host species. While transmission from an animal host to a human host is possible, the mite will be unable to reproduce and will therefore die in a matter of days. In terms of symptoms, the 'mange' mite can potentially cause itching or irritation when it burrows under human skin. Additionally, the mite oftentimes produces transient cutaneous lesions that will subside without treatment.
Result of 'mange' mites in canine ear