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Mutant Lice Immune to Chemicals


Last updated 8/20/2015 at 2:49pm

Lice are evolving. The new mutant lice are now immune to over-the-counter medicine. In a 2014 study, researchers found that the lice developed gene mutations that made them resistant to permethrin and pyrethrin, chemicals found in lice medicine. A new study collected samples from 30 U.S. states and found that in 25 of those states, California included, the lice showed a chemical-resistant gene.

The chemical in the products is supposed get into the insects nerve cells, causing paralysis and death. However, a super lice can be formed by the overuse of these products, thus having chemical-resistant offspring. There are other treatments like Ovide and Natroba, but experts say that the insects might also develop resistant genes, these as well.

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