Scabies:       Back to Zoonoses        Back to Dr. Bennett's Home Page

Sarcoptes scabiei is referred to as a zoonosis. (Bell, Palmer and Payne 'The Zoonoses').

At present it is thought that each mammalian host has its own race of S. scabiei. Humans can be infested with races from domestic animals though it is suggested that such infestations are not long-lived. Indeed the animal scabies infections of humans behave completely differently  a clinical picture of transient rashes.

We have set up a series of questionnaires which address the incidence of scabies in humans and animals.

Human scabies is a unique race or var.   Consulting dermatologist were sent questionnaires (2/12/1998). Here we were asking question about both human and 'animal scabies' (contracted from animals).

We have had a very warming response of almost 60% of Dermatology Departments in England Scotland and Wales (at 5/1/1999).

Animal scabies: All Veterinary Surgeons in Great Britain were sent questionnaires this summer and have been received and processed. Here the questions were about animal scabies (mange) in dogs and foxes.


This work has now been published as:

Bennett,CE Keefe M, and Reynolds J. 2000 Perceptions of the incidence of scabies and efficacy of treatment in U.K. hospitals. British Journal of Dermatology 143, 1337-1338.

You will find other useful links on scabies and mange at the bottom of this page.

Mange in Foxes and Dogs:

The objective is to determine current incidence and prevalence by area in Great Britain.The research it is hoped will provide better advice to Veterinary Practices and Wildlife Hospitals on treatment of mange.

We have received a 35% response from the 3,500  Veterinary practices that we had mailed.

Mange in Foxes:

A smaller survey of approximately 250 wildlife hospitals has had a 40% response rate to date.

From wildlife hospitals and  game-keepers we have had a 28% response and from hunt managers a 54% response.

A final group of Forestry Commission Keepers has been circulated with a special version of the questionnaire in late November 1998. This set is still coming in (14/12/98). The results of the former sets of questionnaires have shown some interesting regional differences. Comparison of all of the data will be by meta-analysis to determine agreement. We expect that the combined results will provide post-code based maps of  endemic status of human scabies and animal mange in different areas of Great Britain.

Delivery of results of the surveys

This page will be updated in early January 1999. We do not wish to prejudice incoming results by giving evidence of regional variations at this stage. We expect to submit our final results to a peer-reviewed Journal.

Areas of which we hope to address in the area of  'Epidemiology of Sarcoptes scabiei':

1. Endemic areas of mange in the different hosts.

2. Transmission of sarcoptic mange from dogs to foxes.

3. Transmission of sarcoptic mange from foxes to dogs.

The work is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Jonathan Reynolds of the 'Predation Control Studies' unit of the Game Conservancy  U.K.

Our assistant was Andrew Hearn a Biology undergraduate who was funded with a summer bursary for graduate training by Hampshire TEC.

Other links :



3.    Fox Parasites: Dr. Gordon Finley, Health of Animals Laboratory   Agriculture Canada:  


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Dr. Clive Bennett 1998 - 2013