Human scabies is a parasitic skin disease that affects people worldwide. It is caused by infestation with the mite Sarcoptes scabiei var hominis. The mite, barely visible to the naked eye, burrows into the epidermis and lays eggs and triggers a host immune response, leading to intense itching following infestation with just a few mites. Secondary infections are common and may lead to sever complications such as sepsis, renal damage and possibly rheumatic heart disease. Scabies is one of the commonest dermatological conditions accounting for a substantial proportion of skin disease in developing countries.
The International Alliance for the Control of Scabies (IACS) is a global network committed to the control of human scabies and the promotion of health and wellbeing of all those living in affected communities. The International League of Dermatological Societies supports the work of IACS. In June 2017, the World Health Organization Department of Neglected Tropical Diseases formally recognised scabies as a neglected tropical disease (NTD). IACS supported endemic countries in the submission of a dossier and compendium of evidence for scabies as an NTD. This is important for international advocacy efforts and will further facilitate much needed research and development of new disease control solutions, particularly in resource-poor settings. Find out more about IACS: www.controlscabies.org