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  1. Species, life cycle, and distribution
  2. Scabies
    1. Life cycle
    2. Clinical aspects
  3. Treatment and prevention
  4. Zoonotic scabies
  5. Trombiculid mites
  6. Miscellaneous mites
    1. Parasitiformes
    2. Acariniformes
  7. Conclusion
  8. References

Mites make up the largest group in the class Arachnida. Most are small arthropods, and many are barely visible. Mites have two body regions, a small cephalothorax and a larger, unsegmented abdomen. The cephalothorax and abdomen are broadly joined, giving most mites an oblong to globular appearance. Newly hatched larvae have three pairs of legs, and larvae acquire a fourth pair after the first molt. Mites are highly diverse. Some are parasitic, with both vertebrates and invertebrates serving as hosts; some are scavengers, some feed on plants, and many are free living and predaceous. Although most species are oviparous, some are ovoviviparous, and a few are viviparous. They occur worldwide and frequently in great numbers. Mites have been associated with disease transmission, allergies, and dermatologic manifestations. Of the approximately 35,000 species, about 50 are known to cause human skin lesions, and most of the cutaneous lesions are caused by mites feeding or burrowing in the skin. Since children and adults of all races are susceptible to these ubiquitous arthropods, they are responsible for considerable morbidity. The mites of medical importance are some of the sarcoptic mites, some of the trombiculid mites, a number of other acariform mites that infest organic substances such as grains and produce, and the gamasid mites that are vectors of several rickettsial and viral diseases. Dermatologic manifestations of mite bites may be seasonal, as with the trombiculids; individual cases or outbreaks of varying magnitude may be related to contact with mites that infest animals or various foods. Epidemics may occur, as is presently the case with scabies.

[...] Ectoparasites, ova, egg castings, feces, or pieces of mites are diagnostic. Norwegian scabies is a term describing a particularly severe form of scabies occasionally seen in senile and mentally impaired patients, those with debilitating illnesses, and immunosuppressed patients. Extensive crusting occurs, particularly of the hands and feet. Erythema and scaling may develop, and patients are literally "crawling with mites." This form of scabies is highly contagious resulting from the incredible number of mites on the patient and in the immediate vicinity. [...]


[...] Miscellaneous Mites Parasitiformes. This group contains gamasid mites that are parasites of birds, mammals, snakes, insects, and rarely, humans. In addition to being vectors of disease, gamasid mites are responsible for some cases of dermatitis. The chicken mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, is responsible for most of the dermatitis caused by this group. This pest of poultry is widespread and is associated with both domestic and wild birds. Poultry workers are common targets, but other persons may be infested from insidious sources, such as a pet canary or bird nest near an intake for ventilation or air conditioning. [...]

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