Bedbugs have been considered a nuisance, but they have not been implicated in the spread of disease from one person to another. A recent discovery in Vancouver, British Columbia, heightens the possibility that these bloodsucking creatures might present an infection hazard.
Three people hospitalized in Vancouver had bedbugs removed from them and analyzed. The patients live in a neighborhood where homelessness is common, along with HIV/AIDS infection. Some of the bedbugs carried antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Because bedbug infestations are difficult to eliminate in poverty-stricken neighborhoods, the authors are concerned that the parasites might transmit these dangerous infections among the residents.
[Emerging Infectious Diseases, online May 11, 2011]