Head lice have become resistant to one of the common treatment, potentially increasing the risk of an epidemic in the UK.
A study conducted by Illinois University found that head lice have developed resistance against permethrin, an active ingredient of pyrethroids commonly used in over-the-counter treatment for nits.
‘Head lice in the UK have developed resistance against permethrin, an active ingredient commonly used in over-the-counter treatments.’
The warmer climatic conditions in the country are also favoring the widespread of these resistant nits.
Doctor Kyong Yoon, of Southern Illinois University, warned: "What we found was that 104 out of the 109 lice populations we tested had high levels of gene mutations, which have been linked to resistance to pyrethroids."
They found that these resistant nits carried a gene called as Kdr, which stands for "knock-down resistance." This gene was first found in house flies in the late 1970s after farmers began using pyrethroids rather than DDT.
Dr. Kyong Yoon, of Southern Illinois University, warned: "If you use a chemical over and over, these little creatures will eventually develop resistance. So we have to think before we use a treatment."
Authors warn against using dangerous alternatives and recommend manual removal of this little creatures.