GMO “Mutant” Head Lice? Bug Can “Suddenly” No Longer Be Killed

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Is this just a case of more genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), or a natural “evolution” of bugs… or, in this case – lice?  Something seems strange.  Reports are now warning parents to be aware that new “mutant” head lice are no longer able to be killed by over-the-counter lice treatments.

The International Business Times reports:

In a recent research, a team of scientists from the Southern Illinois University has claimed that the head lice in nearly 25 states in the United States, including Texas, California and Florida, have become immune to the treatment commonly prescribed by the doctors and the schools. With the children returning to the schools soon, parents are worried about the infestation of the itch-producing pests.

“We are the first group to collect lice samples from a large number of populations across the United States,” said Kyong Yoon of the university, in an interview with the Telegraph. “What we found was that 104 out of the 109 lice populations we tested had high levels of gene mutations, which have been linked to resistance to pyrethroids.”

Pyrethroids are a type of an insecticide used to control mosquitoes and insects. This family of insecticide constitutes permethrin, which is a chemical ingredient used in the anti-lice medication and treatment.

During the study, the researchers found that the genetic mutation affected the nervous system of the lice. The change, in turn, has desensitized the lice against the common treatments. Some of the traditional methods used against the lice include the use of the specially designed lice comb and application of anti-lice lotions and sprays.

Do you think this is a natural mutation, or perhaps something more?  Let us know in the comments below.