As students head back to school, they'll increasingly be bringing home some very unwanted guests: head lice. Lice, long the bane of parents and kids across the country, are becoming a much worse problem: Strains of the pesky parasites that are resistant to most over-the-counter treatments have now been found in at least 25 states.
|The spread of an ultra-strain of lice means you'll need to use a higher dose of chemical to kill them.|
Lice — and other insects — are increasingly becoming resistant to pyrethroids, the active ingredients in most OTC concoctions, according to Kyong Yoon, an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University—Edwardsvillle. Yoon was part of the research team that initially discovered the new ultra-resistant strains.
In a new study, Yoon and his colleagues decided to find out how widespread these resistant strains were.
"We collected 109 lice populations and 104 had high levels of gene mutations," Yoon reported at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in August. MORE