Bedbugs and infectious diseases

Delaunay P, Blanc V, Del Giudice P, Levy-Bencheton A, Chosidow O, Marty P, Brouqui P

Clin. Infect. Dis. 2011 Jan;52(2):200-10

Abstract

PMID: 21288844

Bedbugs are brown and flat hematophagous insects. The 2 cosmopolite species, Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus, feed on humans and/or domestic animals, and recent outbreaks have been reported in occidental countries. Site assessment for bedbug eradication is complex but can be assured, despite emerging insecticide resistance, by hiring a pest-control manager. The common dermatological presentation of bites is an itchy maculopapular wheal. Urticarial reactions and anaphylaxis can also occur. Bedbugs are suspected of transmitting infectious agents, but no report has yet demonstrated that they are infectious disease vectors. We describe 45 candidate pathogens potentially transmitted by bedbugs, according to their vectorial capacity, in the wild, and vectorial competence, in the laboratory. Because of increasing demands for information about effective control tactics and public health risks of bedbugs, continued research is needed to identify new pathogens in wild Cimex species (spp) and insecticide resistance.