Parasite Transmission

Transmission of the scabies mite can be either direct or indirect

1. Direct: Prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with an individual already infected with scabies may result in the direct transmission of ovigerous female mites. The more parasites an individual is host to, the greater the likelihood that he or she will transmit the parasite.

2. Indirect: The indirect route involves transmission via fomites and often occurs among family members or between sexual partners. Catching the infection by sharing clothing, towels, or bedding is rare in classic scabies transmission but is more common with Norwegian (crusted) scabies.

-Transmission of Sarcoptes scabiei is rapid under crowded conditions that facilitate frequent skin-to-skin contact between a number of people. Hospitals, child-care facilities, and schools are optimal locations for the spread of scabies.

-Elderly people, the mentally impaired, and those with weak immune systems (particularly HIV/AIDS patients) are at a higher risk of contracting Norwegian scabies. The hyperinfection typical of Norwegian scabies is likely related to the inability of an individual's immune system to combat the mites, hence promoting overwhelming reproduction.

-Given the possiblity of sexual transmission, MSM (men who have sex with men) are at a greater risk of obtaining the parasitic mite.

Hyperinfection of the scabies mite typifies Norwegian scabies.