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Mites, Associated Bacteria Possibly Play Role in Rosacea

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A role has been suggested for Demodex mites and their associated bacteria in rosacea, according to a study published online Aug. 29 in the Journal of Medical Microbiology.

Noting that although rosacea can be treated with antibiotics, no role has been established for bacteria or microbes in its etiology, Stanislaw Jarmuda, from the University of Medical Sciences in Poznan, Poland, and colleagues conducted a review of the literature to examine the role of microbes in rosacea.

The researchers found that, compared with controls, the density of Demodex mites was higher in the skin of rosacea patients. A Demodex mite from a patient with papulopustular rosacea was found to contain Bacillus oleronius, known to be sensitive to the antibiotics used to treat rosacea. Isolation of Staphylococcus epidermidis from the pustules of rosacea patients, but not unaffected skin, was also reported.

"These findings raise the possibility that rosacea is fundamentally a bacterial disease resulting from the over-proliferation of Demodex mites living in skin damaged as a result of adverse weathering, age or the production of sebum with an altered fatty acid content," the authors write. "Hopefully, the results of further research will bring us closer to understanding the role of microbes in the pathogenesis of rosacea and assist in the development of new and more effective therapies for the treatment of this disfiguring disease."

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