Another Demodex Bacteria Isolated: Bartonella quintana

Written by on November 10, 2014 in Demodex Mites, What Causes Rosacea? with 4 Comments


In a short paper, researchers have detailed the investigation into demodex mite bacteria that was able to isolate another pathogenic bacteria. This time the bacteria is known as Bartonella quintana. B. quintana can now join B. oleronius bacteria directly linked to demodex mites.

Here is what you need to know.

Readers of Rosacea News will know that a lot of research has tried to find a causative link between the presence of demodex mites and rosacea symptoms.

Some small steps have been made in this link by some research showing that rosacea sufferers have an increased immune response to some proteins present in B. oleronius.Further, that bacteria was extracted from some demodex mites found in rosacea sufferers.

Latest Research

This just published research used sophisticated DNA sequencing and matching technology to show that B. quintana was present in three mites in a patient with erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (we are told more exactly – mild telangiectasia and moderate flushing, but neither non-transient erythema nor papules and pustules.)

The patient was the only one from 13 patients to test positive for this bacteria in their demodex samples. Overall 72 mites were tested and only 3 found positive.

So what does it mean?

Despite this bacteria being a known pathogen, the precise implication of this finding is still unclear.

As the patient’s blood was not tested it isn’t  possible to say if they were contaminated with B. quintana  themselves.

Also it is not clear what symptoms B. quintana  might be responsible for in rosacea sufferers, nor of course how important the link is between demodex mites and rosacea overall.

Galderma’s Interest

This research was able to use the Galderma funded rosacea research database.

Like many things rosacea related, you can easily find a patent related to any discovery. Here is an extract showing further links to Galderma and this bacteria.

Method for the diagnosis of rosacea
WO 2014023803 A1

3. The method for the diagnosis of rosacea according to claim 2, wherein the prevalence of Gram negative bacteria in a biopsy of the patient is used as a diagnostic marker of rosacea.

4. The method for the diagnosis of rosacea according to claim 3, wherein the Gram negative bacteria are selected from the group consisting of Bartonella, Escherichia coli, preferably from the group consisting of Bartonella quintana, Escherichia coli.

Thus it appears that Galderma is at least reserving the discovery that B. quintana can be used as a diagnostic test for rosacea. This does seem a bit of a stretch given that this bacteria is little known in rosacea circles.

Galderma has a lot riding on the link between rosacea and demodex, especially with their upcoming new rosacea topical CD5024.

Article Extract

Bartonella quintana detection in Demodex from erythematotelangiectatic rosacea patients

International Journal of Infectious Diseases, Published Online: October 24, 2014

Nathalia Murillo, Oleg Mediannikov, Jérome Aubert, Didier Raoult

Introduction. Bartonella quintana is known as the cause of trench fever, but it may also cause chronic bacteraemia and/or endocarditis and bacillary angiomatosis. The infection is usually transmitted by lice in homeless people.

Bartonella species have been reported in many other arthropods, including mites and soft and hard ticks. Interestingly, the transmission of B. quintana by Dermanyssus sp in family members was recently reported. Here we report the serendipitous detection of B. quintana in Demodex mites from a patient with erythematotelangiectatic rosacea.

Discussion: To date, the louse Pediculus humanus humanus is the only confirmed vector of Bartonella quintana, even though this species has been identified by molecular biology or culture in many other arthropods, including the house dust mitesDermatophagoides farinae and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and haematophagous mites of Dermanyssus sp.

This is the first report of the detection of B. quintana 16S rDNA sequences from Demodex mites collected from a patient with erythematotelangiectatic rosacea. It is not yet known whether Demodex mites play a role in the pathogenesis of rosacea or whether they may serve as a host for Bartonella.

Demodex mites are not haematophagous and do not excrete faeces, so the ‘classical’ (as for lice and sand flies, for example) epidemiological scheme of Bartonella transmission does not appear to be applicable here. However, Demodex mites are highly contagious and the transmission of Bartonella-infected Demodex mites from one individual to another is possible.

Further studies should be performed in order to clarify the role of Demodex mites as hosts and possible vectors of B. quintana.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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4 Reader Comments

  1. Esti says:

    Does anyone think it would work if I get ivermectin 1% in a vasobase lotion made by a compound pharmacy ?

  2. Ann says:

    I have been using Eurax lotion 10% (also cream when lotion was not available) for 1 1/2 yrs. Have had Rosacea for 34 yrs and this is the most effective treatment by far. I have had no adverse side effects. Had to go to a private derm clinic to get the prescription because my HMO derm. refused to prescribe it. My PCP oked the prescription afterwards so I get a little help with the cost.

  3. Comment via email.

    “Thanks so much for article. Only 1 pt out of 13 was positive. Besides the fact that at least 100-200 pts are required today for significance, 7% is nowhere near statistically significant. How does any journal even accept such standards? Danny”

    • Esti says:

      Does anyone think it would work if I get ivermectin 1% in a vasobase lotion made by a compound pharmacy ?

      I went ahead and the dermatologist to have this compounded for me after checking with the pharmacy that it’s possible . I asked for them to use versabase lotion as the base for the ivermectin 1% . So fat I have only had luck with the elidel . The elidel reduces the inflammation but does nothing to stop new p&p from forming

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