Lice of Mice

Etiology:  Polyplax serrata is the mouse louse.

Incidence:  Incidence of infection is rare.

Transmission:  Transmission occurs by direct contact and mutual grooming.

Distribution:  First stage nymphs have a whole-body distribution. Later stages are found primarily on the forebody. Lice are generally host-specific.

Clinical signs:  Clinical signs include an unkempt appearance, pruritis, and anemia in heavy infestations.  This louse has been implicated as a vector of the blood parasite Eperythrozoon coccoides.

Diagnosis:  Diagnosis methods are the same as for mites. Lice are larger than mites. These lice are Anoplurans (blood-suckers), so they may be blood-engorged.