NRS Highlights demodex bacteria

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NRS Highlights demodex bacteria

Postby David Pascoe » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:51 pm

I have covered this quite a bit in Rosacea News already, so I'm not sending out a new item - but thought it was worthwhile pointing out the NRS Blog is highlighting some recent research into demodex mites.

Demodex mites have yet to rise above the rosacea folklore and be proved to be a cause of rosacea. As far as I'm concerned the jury is still out. On the evidence so far, IMHO, more research is needed to prove a link and confirm to what extent symptoms may be related to the presence of demodex.

The NRS has sponsored a couple of studies in the past that look at what role demodex mites might play in rosacea. They themselves are not leaping to any conclusions - "these invisible organisms may be a cause or exacerbating factor in rosacea."

NRS Blog: Possible Role for Mites
In the new study, published in the British Journal of Dermatology, the researchers identified Bacillus oleronius as distinct bacteria associated with Demodex mites. When analyzing blood samples using a peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation assay, they discovered that B. oleronius stimulated an immune system response in 79 percent of 22 patients with subtype 2 (papulopustular) rosacea, compared with only 29 percent of 17 subjects without the disorder.


So a one line summary is that the bacterium Bacillus oleronius can be isolated from demodex mites, and this then has been shown to produce a response that can be seen as papules and pustules.

It is then tempting to say that because treatments like antibiotics destroy B. oleronius, that this bacteria is the cause of the inflammation. Don't be tempted I say. Wait for proof. There are likely many factors that cause the inflammation of rosacea. I believe that rosacea is multifactorial, and this bacteria sounds too simple an explanation to me. Might it simply cause some inflammation in some sufferers ? that sounds more reasonable to me.

Here are some previous commentary from Rosacea News: if you'd like to read some more.
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Re: NRS Highlights demodex bacteria

Postby Aurelia » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:44 am

Hi David,

I agree that "the jury is still out", but think the evidence is swaying more and more in favour of the Bacillus oleronius theory. Time will eventually tell, we hope.

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Re: NRS Highlights demodex bacteria

Postby David Pascoe » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:52 am

For sure there is some evidence for this little microbe.

Just how far the inflammation story can be supported by the presence or absence of it - that is what I'd like to see teased out in future research.
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Re: NRS Highlights demodex bacteria

Postby Dan » Thu Nov 01, 2007 3:40 am

Excellent summary, David. Thanks!
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Re: NRS Highlights demodex bacteria

Postby Aurelia » Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:21 am

Yes, an excellent summary ... and we go on waiting. ;)

Note the term "these invisible organisms". They presumably meant that the bacteria were "invisible to the naked eye" or "visible only under the microscope", hence "microscopically small".

I wouldn't have expected scientists to call them "invisible", but perhaps for the lay audience, or watchers of Dr Who?

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Re: NRS Highlights demodex bacteria

Postby yumecouk » Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:22 pm

My medical knowledge is extremely limited but i find it incredible and frustrating that after years of Demodex being mentioned in the same context as Rosacea that we still don't know if it plays a role or not...
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Re: NRS Highlights demodex bacteria

Postby David Pascoe » Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:31 am

yumecouk wrote:My medical knowledge is extremely limited but i find it incredible and frustrating that after years of Demodex being mentioned in the same context as Rosacea that we still don't know if it plays a role or not...


I agree entirely. A lot of money has spent on research, and even books written - but no one has found a good link yet. Not to say one won't be found of course.

The fact that no causative link can be found doesn't deter researchers from looking futher. In fact it seems that it makes them look harder.
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Re: NRS Highlights demodex bacteria

Postby Dan » Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:30 pm

Hi all,

This is a really interesting discussion...

You know, I had an interesting conversation with a microbiologist about a year ago, and he suggested that since Demodex and their associated B. oleronius have not been shown to enter the bloodstream, you would not expect them to be the causal agent for much of the underlying pathology of rosacea, namely the chronically dilated and leaky blood vessels and the resulting localized tissue destruction and barrier disruption.

But as he pointed out, this certainly doesn't mean that Demodex (and their associated B. oleronius) cannot be contributors to many of the symptoms associated with rosacea. In fact, they could actually be co-pathogens of another or several other pathogens that are involved at a deeper level.

IMHO, perhaps even, it might take Demodex (and their assoicated B. oleronius) entering the "fertile field" created by some other pathogen(s) and contributing to all the localized inflammation going in these fertile fields, before the disease state of rosacea occurs. And perhaps killing off these nasty, yet somehow oddly cute little Demodex, continually will help relieve many of the symptoms associated with rosacea. But it is likely you would have to keep killing them off continually since Demodex likely will continue returning to the fertile fields of our rosacea-prone faces for a little Scooby Snack at our expense.

Hopefully though, research will focus on finding other pathogen(s) that may be responsible for creating this fertile field in the first place. IMHO, if you can eliminate this underlying fertile field, pathogens like Demodex and the yeasts/fungi associated with seb derm should no longer be a problem for us rosaceans, just as they are not a problem for the "norms" (meaning those without rosacea of course ;) )...
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Re: NRS Highlights demodex bacteria

Postby David Pascoe » Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:23 am

Hey Dan,

just love your posts. You know if you don't read them carefully you'd think you were being, like, all serious and stuff. Then you chuck in some scooby snacks reference :D

I think the idea of a localised symptoms due to demodex might be a helpful way to think about their involvement.

I wonder too if continually eliminating demodex (which might lead to some getting relief from papules & pustules), say via ivermectin for eg. might just be treating the final symptom. Indeed this fact might also point to something else creating the fertile field in the first place. Thus our task might be to find the reason for said field.

OK, lots of "mights" (and mites (bug) ;) ) in that last sentence, but at least it is a reasonable sounding theory that tries to reconcile reality with little snippets of research.

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Re: NRS Highlights demodex bacteria

Postby redbreanna » Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:54 am

My doctor is considering treating me for demodex, even though she couldn't find any evidence that I had them. She said the treatment consists of some kind of pesticide for the face... and is very irritating. Seems to go against common sense for treating rosacea, doesn't it? What are your thoughts?
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