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Characterizing the growth of Sarcoptes scabiei infrapopulations

Castro, Inmaculada, Espinosa, José, Granados, José E., Cano-Manuel, Francisco J., Fandos, Paulino, Ráez-Bravo, Arián, López-Olvera, Jorge R., Soriguer, Ramón C., Pérez, Jesús M.
Experimental & applied acarology 2018 v.76 no.1 pp. 41-52
Capra, Sarcoptes scabiei, acarology, biopsy, digestion, histology, histopathology, mange, mites, parasites, population size, skin lesions
During the course of parasitic disease infestations, parasite population sizes change at both individual host (infrapopulation) and host population (metapopulation) levels. However, most studies only report epidemiological values for specific locations and times. In this study we analysed the dynamics of several Sarcoptes scabiei infrapopulations from experimentally infested Iberian ibex, Capra pyrenaica. We obtained mite counts by digesting small skin biopsies, which we compared with indices obtained from histopathological analyses performed on adjacent skin biopsies. We obtained the finite growth rate and the daily growth rate for the mite infrapopulations: mean ± SE = 11.53 ± 10.17 and 0.10 ± 0.08 mites/day, respectively. Mite counts derived from skin sample digestion did not correlate with the histological mite indices obtained from adjacent skin biopsies. At a metapopulational level, both indices of mite abundance were modelled using GLMMs and the factors influencing their variation are analysed and discussed. Our results suggest that mites are not distributed uniformly over the whole area of the skin lesion. Therefore, direct diagnoses of mange and mite counts could be inaccurate if only small skin samples are used.