Use of 1,2-octanediol in preventing lice infection

Created on 05.06.14

A new paper reports on a randomised, controlled, cross-over study investigating the efficacy of 1,2- octanediol in preventing lice infection.

The paper, by Burgess et al., published in the May 2014 edition of BMJ Open, looked at the ability of the novel surfactant 1,2-octanediol to prevent head lice infection, something which had already been reported in vitro.

The trial comprised 63 schoolchildren who were treated to eliminate lice and then sprayed with either 1% 1,2-octanediol or a placebo at least twice-weekly for a period of 6 weeks. The time to first infestation was then measured.

On an intention-to-treat basis, 1,2-octanediol had a significant effect on both the number of individuals infected (19% with octanediol vs 27% with placebo) as well as the time to first infestation.

The authors recommend a wider study to confirm these preventative results on a larger population.

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