Revision on tungiasis: treatment options and prevention.Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2006 Feb; 4(1):151-7.ER
The parasitic skin disease tungiasis occurs in many resource-poor communities in Latin America, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa. The sand flea, Tunga penetrans, most commonly penetrates into the skin of the feet. Many individuals harbor a large number of embedded parasites and show significant morbidity. Standard treatment consists of surgical extraction of the flea and application of a topical antibiotic. There are no drugs available with proven effectiveness. Clinical trials performed in the last few years did not show very promising results. Thus, surgical extraction still remains the treatment of choice in patients with a low parasite load, such as tourists returning from endemic areas. Probably the best approach to reduce tungiasis-associated morbidity in heavily affected individuals is the application of a repellent to prevent the penetration of sand fleas. In the future, we should see new exciting data on the biology, epidemiology, therapy and control of tungiasis.