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Pediculus humanus (PhumU2)

The Pediculus humanus data and its display on Ensembl Genomes are made possible through a joint effort by the Ensembl Genomes group and VectorBase, a component of VEuPathDB.

About Pediculus humanus

The human body louse, Pediculus humanus corporis is the primary vector of the bacterial agents of louse-borne relapsing fever, trench fever, and epidemic typhus. Epidemic typhus, one of the most significant historical human diseases, is caused by Rickettsia prowazekii, a category B bioterrorism agent that can cause persistent human infection. Besides its notoriety as the agent of the recurrent chronic disease, trench fever, Bartonella quintana can cause endocarditis and is a common infection among the homeless. Borrelia recurrentis causes another recurrent fever in central and Eastern Africa that is characterized by significant morbidity and mortality. The genome sequences of R. prowazekii and B. quintana have been determined, as well as those of two species of Borrelia, so the body louse genome will enhance studies of host-vector-pathogen interactions.

Picture credit (public domain): James Gathany (CDC) 2006

Strain USDA

The human body louse DNA (Pediculus humanus humanus strain) was provided by Dr. John Clark of the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Clark's colony originated from the colony maintained in Dr. Kosta Mumcuoglu’s laboratory (Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel). Dr. Mumcuoglu’s louse colony was established from the strain maintained at the USDA laboratory (Gainesville, FL). The colony has been maintained at the University of Massachusetts on rabbits for 8 years. According to the initial report by Culpepper (1944), he first colonized the body lice in 1942 at the laboratory of the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine (Orlando, FL). In 1945, Culpepper successfully reared his body lice on rabbits. Although it is not clear if the louse strain maintained at the USDA Gainesville laboratory was from Culpepper’s strain, the rearing methods are identical.

Taxonomy ID 121224

Data source VectorBase

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Genome assembly: PhumU2

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Gene annotation

What can I find? Protein-coding and non-coding genes, splice variants, cDNA and protein sequences, non-coding RNAs.

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Comparative genomics

What can I find? Homologues, gene trees, and whole genome alignments across multiple species.

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Phylogenetic overview of gene families

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Variation

This species currently has no variation database. However you can process your own variants using the Variant Effect Predictor:

Variant Effect Predictor

About this species