Volume 97, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Scabies and associated impetigo are under-recognized causes of morbidity in many developing countries. To strengthen the evidence base for scabies control we undertook a trial of mass treatment for scabies. We report on the occurrence and predictors of scabies and impetigo in participants at baseline. Participants were recruited in six island communities and were examined for the presence of scabies and impetigo. In addition to descriptive analyses, logistic regression models were fit to assess the association between demographic variables and outcome of interest. The study enrolled 2051 participants. Scabies prevalence was 36.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] 34.3–38.5), highest in children 5–9 years (55.7%). Impetigo prevalence was 23.4% (95% CI 21.5–25.2) highest in children aged 10–14 (39.0%). People with scabies were 2.8× more likely to have impetigo. The population attributable risk of scabies as a cause of impetigo was 36.3% and 71.0% in children aged less than five years. Households with four or more people sharing the same room were more likely to have scabies and impetigo (odds ratios [OR] 1.6, 95% CI 1.2–2.2 and OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.6–3.2 respectively) compared to households with rooms occupied by a single individual. This study confirms the high burden of scabies and impetigo in Fiji and the association between these two conditions, particularly in young children. Overcrowding, young age, and clinical distribution of lesion are important risk factors for scabies and impetigo. Further studies are needed to investigate whether the decline of endemic scabies would translate into a definite reduction of the burden of associated complications.


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  • Received : 16 Sep 2016
  • Accepted : 03 Apr 2017

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