Demodex Bacteria Protein Response Isolated

Written by on June 26, 2012 in Demodex Mites with 6 Comments


Hot on the heels of a paper detailing the fact that demodex bacteria-based proteins inhibit corneal wound recovery, is this paper consolidating a direct relationship between an immune response and facial and ocular rosacea.

Recent research from 2007 has isolated 2 proteins from the bacteria from Bacillus oleronius, that stimulate inflammatory cells in rosacea sufferers.

Proteins are in part described by their size, the number of amino acids they contain and mass, in kilodaltons (kDa). The average length of a human protein is 53 kDa. The 2 proteins identified as being associated with rosacea have a length of 62 kDa and 83kDa.

What Does it Mean?

This paper appears to be confirming the earlier research relating to these two demodex bacteria proteins.

In addition we learn about 2 more components groEL chaperonin and aconitate hydratase that are thought to be important downstream from the bacteria. These are described as “heat shock protein and an enzyme involved in regulating the stress response of the bacterium”.

Thus is appears that one more small link has been made in the chain from demodex mites to rosacea symptoms.

Positive correlation between serum immuno-reactivity to Demodex-associated Bacillus proteins and Erythematotelangiectic Rosacea.

Br J Dermatol. 2012 Jun 18., O’Reilly N, Menezes N, Kavanagh K.

Department of Biology, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Servico Dermatologia e Venereologia, Centro Hospitalar de Vila Nova Gaia/Espinho, EPE, Rua Conceicao Fernandes, 4434-502 VN Gaia, Portugal.

Background: Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the skin of the face and the eyes. Erythematotelangiectic rosacea is characterized by flushing, edema and telangiectasia.

Rosacea patients demonstrate elevated densities of Demodex mites in their skin compared to controls.

A bacterium (Bacillus oleronius) isolated from a Demodex mites from a patient with papulopustular rosacea has been demonstrated to produce antigenic proteins that may play a role in papulopustular and ocular rosacea.

Objectives: The aim of the work presented here was to establish whether there was a correlation between the reactivity of sera from patients with erythematotelangiectic rosacea to Bacillus antigens and to characterise the proteins to which these patients showed reactivity.

Methods:  Serum from patients with erythematotelangiectic rosacea and controls was examined for reactivity to Bacillus proteins by Western blot analysis. Proteins to which the sera reacted were excised from gels, trypsin digested and putative identities were assigned following LC/MS analysis.

Results: Eighty per cent (80%, 21/26) of patients with erythematotelangiectic rosacea showed sera reactivity to the 62 and 83kDa proteins of B.oleronius compared to 40% (9/22) of controls (p = 0.004).

The 62kDa protein was characterized by LC mass spectrometry to show homology to groEL chaperonin which provokes a strong immune response in mammals.

The 83kDa protein showed homology to aconitate hydratase which is increased in expression in bacteria under oxidative stress and is highly immunogenic.

Conclusions: The majority of patients with erythematotelangiectic rosacea show sera reactivity to two proteins from B.oleronius so suggesting that this bacterium may play a role in the induction of this condition.

The two proteins to which patient sera reacted were found to be similar to a heat shock protein and an enzyme involved in regulating the stress response of the bacterium.

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Read more about: Demodex Mites

About the Author

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

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6 Reader Comments

  1. Brady Barrows says:

    As more data keeps coming about demodectic rosacea you seem to be softening your previous stand that demodex are an ‘innocent bystander’ in rosacea. The data speaks for itself which is massive that in come cases rosacea is demodectic, a variant of rosacea. Your reporting on demodectic rosacea is growing with a sizable number of reports. Thanks for your judicious stand on this subject which is admirable for your open mind and reporting.

  2. DaveM81 says:

    I’m no scientist, but this supports my continuing suspicions.

  3. Maureen says:

    Dave, This info is very interesting, but what will they do with it? Do you think they will try and come up with a treatment that will directly have a effect on these mites?
    Thanks for all your info

  4. DaveM81 says:

    Maureen, there is a treatment currently ‘in the pipeline’ (topical ivermectin) that, as I understand it, would work by eradicating mite populations. There is nothing, again as far as I’m aware, currently licensed to do that job, so more evidence must surely lead to more urgency in getting an effective treatment out there? That is my hope, at least.

  5. Maureen says:

    thanks for your reply. How come most Derma Drs. don’t know about any of these new treatments, and also the low dose Accutane that seems to be helping people/
    What are your thoughts?

  6. Christian Honey says:

    In a different trial Permethrin was used to get rid of mites. It’s an over the counter cream (Lyclear, 5% Permethrin in the UK). I used it for 60 days, like in the trial, and my symptoms got much much better. Haven’t been using it in 2 weeks now and symptoms are still almost gone.

    Confirming the suspicion many people have. Don’t overuse the cream though and only for a limited time.



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