Hostname: page-component-797576ffbb-5676f Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-12-07T16:57:05.715Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Delusional Parasitosis: Folie à Deux and Attempted Murder of a Family Doctor

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Marc L. Bourgeois*
Université Bordeaux II, IPSO, 121 rue de la Béchade, 33076 Bordeaux, France
Pascale Duhamel
Université Bordeaux II, IPSO, 121 rue de la Béchade, 33076 Bordeaux, France
Helene Verdoux
Université Bordeaux II, IPSO, 121 rue de la Béchade, 33076 Bordeaux, France


A 58-year-old woman suffering from delusional parasitosis tried to kill her general practitioner. Her husband shared in her beliefs but lost all delusional conviction after she was compulsorily admitted to a special hospital. The case illustrates the intractable nature and potential dangerousness of some of these cases, and their affinity to paranoia.

Brief Reports
Copyright © 1992 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Bebbington, P. (1976) Monosymptomatic hypochondriasis, abnormal illness behaviour and suicide. British Journal of Psychiatry, 128, 475478.Google Scholar
Berrios, G. E. (1985) Delusional parasitosis and physical disease. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 26, 395403.Google Scholar
Ekbom, K. A. (1937) Om de s k parasitofobierna. Stokholm: Svenska Psykiatriska Föreningens Förhandingar.Google Scholar
Ekbom, K. A. (1938) Der präsenile Dermatozoenwahn. Acta Psychiatrica Neurologica, 13, 227259.Google Scholar
Hunt, H. J. & Blacker, V. R. (1987) Delusional parasitosis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 713714.Google Scholar
Lyell, A. (1983) Delusional parasitosis. British Journal of Dermatology, 108, 485499.Google Scholar
Macaskill, N. M. (1987) Delusional parasitosis: successful non-pharmacological treatment of a folie-à-deux. British Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 261263.Google Scholar
Mester, H. (1975) Induzierter “Dermatozoenwahn”. Psychiatrische Praxis, 8, 339348.Google Scholar
Munro, A. (1978) Monosymptomatic hypochondriacal psychosis manifesting as delusion of parasitosis. A description of a few cases successfully treated with pimozide. Archives of Dermatology, 114, 940943.Google Scholar
Musalek, M. & Kutzer, E. (1990) The frequency of shared delusions in delusions of infestations. European Archives of Neurological Science, 239, 263266.Google Scholar
Perrin, L. (1896) Des névrodermies parasitophobiques. Annates de Dermatologie et de Syphiligraphie (Paris), 7, 129138.Google Scholar
Reilly, T. M. (1977) Monosymptomatic hypochondriacal psychosis; presentation and treatment. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 70 (suppl. 10): 3942.Google Scholar
Riding, J. & Munro, A. (1975) Pimozide in the treatment of monosymptomatic hypochondriacal psychosis. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 52, 2330.Google Scholar
Skott, A. (1978) Delusion of Infestation. Dermatozoenwahn. Ekbom's Syndrome. Report No. 13 from the Psychiatric Research Center, University of Goteborg.Google Scholar
Thirbierge, G. (1894) Les acarophobes. Annales de Dermatologie et de Syphiligraphie (Paris), 5, 730731.Google Scholar
Wessely, S. (1987) Delusional parasitosis British Journal of Psychiatry, 151, 560561.Google Scholar
Submit a response


No eLetters have been published for this article.