Recommendation for a Simple, Office–Friendly, Standardized Testing for Head Lice

Craig G. Burkhart *, 1, Craig N. Burkhart2
1 University of Toledo College of Medicine, USA
2 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

© 2009 Burkhart and Burkhart

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the University of Toledo School of Medicine, 5600 Monroe Street, Suite 106B, Sylvania, OH 43560, USA; Tel: 419-885-3403; Fax: 419-885-3401; E-mail:


Given the number of anecdotal and market-driven reported studies on head lice and also the growing resistance to many present insecticides, standardized, inexpensive testing of topical lice therapies should be formalized. Such tests could then be performed by all individuals interested in epidemiology and treatment outcomes with this disease. A simple in vitro office test that requires no high tech services or expensive equipment is presented which has been already helpful to document effectiveness or recalcitrance to specific therapies. In the protocol, head lice are exposed to insecticides for similar durations and concentrations as the product dictates; thus, exposure imitates routine clinical usage of the specific product tested. The results of such testing mirrors actual treatment results much better than elaborate pediculicidal tests performed at certain laboratories.