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A case report of crusted scabies in an adult patient with Down syndrome


Importance: Crusted (Norwegian) scabies is a severe manifestation of the contagious skin infection caused by Sarcoptes scabiei. Crusted scabies has been well described in patients with known immunocompromised states. Treatment may be complicated by delayed diagnosis and/or inadequate treatment. This infection may not rank highly on one’s differential diagnosis in the absence of an immunocompromised state, highlighting the uniqueness of the case being presented. Several papers describe immunocompromised children with Down syndrome who are infected with crusted scabies. We present a case of infection in an adult with Down syndrome without evidence of an immunocompromised state.

Observations: Our patient came to us with a 13-month history of progressively worsening symptoms, the last 4-6 weeks of that time period being most dramatic, despite various treatments. We performed tissue biopsy, culture, and laboratory evaluations, which revealed numerous mites and bacterial superinfection.

Conclusions and Relevance: Crusted scabies infection may occur in adult age individuals with Down syndrome regardless of immune status, leading us to encourage practitioners to consider this condition when presented with patients of this population. We also highlight the need for further exploration of disease prevalence in this patient population.

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