Scabies is a skin infection caused by a microscopic mite that burrows into the skin. This causes rashes and intense itching. Scabies also contributes to the development of bacterial skin infections.


Scabies is one of the most common skin diseases worldwide. Rates of scabies infection are particularly high in some remote Australian communities. This contributes to other health problems. Research revealing the scabies mite’s genetic makeup aims to improve how scabies is treated.

Female scabies mite

Our scabies research

Our bioinformatics researchers are analysing the entire DNA sequence of the scabies mite, called its genome. Their aim is to use this to advance our understanding of scabies. This may reveal new ways to treat people infected with the scabies mite. We work closely with scabies researcher groups at the Menzies School of Health Research and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

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