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delusional parasitosis

Gerald L. McLaughlin, Ph.D gmclaugh at IUPUI.EDU
Wed Mar 11 09:02:48 EST 1998

I taught a CME workshop on "Blood and Tissue Parasites, Arthropods, and
Delusional Parasitosis" for a clinical microbiology group a year ago. It did
seem that most enrolees had anecdotal reports of delusional parasitosis, and
wanted guidelines about handling such cases.  As you suggest, there are very
specific guidelines that are recommended in such cases, and labs should know
about where to refer them, often the state public health lab.  Meanwhile, as
I recall, essentially neither agree nor disagree with the patient, be sure
this is a true negative (there were some real arthropods, for example), i.e.
be open-minded but not supportive of the delusion.  Since parasite positives
are very low in the Midwest among people, some lab techs with mostly
suburban clientle indeed said they had more cases of this than true positive
parasitisms, but that's not saying much in terms of frequency. I don't think
the incidence was thought to have increased recently; my impression was that
this condition may have seemed to be more frequent because true positives
have decreased.  I can ask about more recent impressions at next week's
workshop.  Incidently, what's the Davis website address?

Gerald McLaughlin

At 01:27 PM 3/10/98 -0600, Steve J. Upton wrote:
>Is it just me, or is there a increase in delusional parasitosis this
>year?  I'm averaging 2 per month now, and in the past I would only get
>1-2 per year.  I'd be interested in some of your opinions.  I've been
>directing some of these people to the web pages at UC Davis on
>delusional parasitosis.
>Steve J. Upton
>Kansas State University
Gerald McLaughlin, Ph.D.
Dept Pathology and Lab Med
635  Barnhill Dr., MS A128
Indianapolis, IN 46202-5120
317-274-2651; gmclaugh at iupui.edu

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