Demodex Mite Bacteria causes Rosacea Inflammation ?

Written by on June 30, 2007 in Demodex Mites with 2 Comments

This paper is proposing that a particular type of bacteria taken from a demodex mite, called Bacillus oleronius is capable of producing an inflammatory response. As the mite was isolated from a patient with papulopustular rosacea the tempting conclusion is that this bacteria has caused these rosacea symptoms. This part is of course not confirmed, just the fact that it is possible to isolate a bacteria that causes an inflammatory response in humans.

This paper looks to be the publication of a study mentioned in a 2004 press release from the National Rosacea Society – New Study Shows Role for Bacteria in Development of Rosacea Symptoms.

A study from February 2007 (also with NRS funding), mentioned in demodex bacteria – could that be the cause ?, tried a different approach to proving a link. Herer, Burroughs is suggesting that antibiotics actually affect the intraceluar bacteria in demodex mites – and that is the reason they work in rosacea – not their anti-inflammatory properties.

So here is the abstract of the just-published paper.

Mite-related bacterial antigens stimulate inflammatory cells in rosacea.

Br J Dermatol., 2007 Jun 26, Lacey N, Delaney S, Kavanagh K, Powell FC .

Background: Patients with papulopustular rosacea have a higher density of Demodex folliculorum mites on their faces than normal subjects but the role, if any, of their mites in initiating inflammation is disputed. Selective antibiotics are effective in reducing the inflammatory changes of papulopustular rosacea, but their mode of action is unknown.

Objectives: To investigate whether a D. folliculorum-related bacterium was capable of expressing antigens that could stimulate an inflammatory immune response in patients with rosacea.

Methods: A bacterium (Bacillus oleronius) was isolated from a D. folliculorum mite extracted from the face of a patient with papulopustular rosacea, and was investigated further.

Results: This bacterium produced antigens capable of stimulating peripheral blood mononuclear cells proliferation in 16 of 22 (73%) patients with rosacea but only five of 17 (29%) control subjects (P = 0.0105). This antigenic preparation was fractionated into 70 subfractions and the proteins in each fraction were visualized by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Western blot analysis revealed the presence of two antigenic proteins of size 62 and 83 kDa in fractions when probing with sera from patients with rosacea. No immunoreactivity to these proteins was recorded when probing with sera from control patients. Two-dimensional electrophoretic separation was used to isolate these proteins and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight analysis was employed to identify the relevant peptides. The 62-kDa immunoreactive protein shared amino acid sequence homology with an enzyme involved in carbohydrate metabolism and signal transduction while the 83-kDa protein was similar to bacterial heat shock proteins.

Conclusions: Antigenic proteins related to a bacterium (B. oleronius), isolated from a D. folliculorum mite, have the potential to stimulate an inflammatory response in patients with papulopustular rosacea.

[update:] the full text of the article is available online: Mite-related bacterial antigens stimulate inflammatory cells in rosacea

The extended conclusion of this paper is interesting, if not a bit wordy;

Selective antibiotics are effective in clearing papulopustular rosacea but their mode of action is unknown. This work shows that consideration must be given to their potential to affect microorganisms such as B. oleronius or other follicular or Selective antibiotics are effective in clearing papulopustularrosacea but their mode of action is unknown.
This workshows that consideration must be given to their potential toaffect microorganisms such as B. oleronius or other follicular or mite-related bacteria. By reducing the antigenic load of these microorganisms or altering the numbers or biological functioning of D. folliculorum mites they may consequently affect the inflammatory changes which form the characteristic clinical features of the disease we recognize as papulopustular rosacea.
The systemic antibiotics that are commonly prescribed for rosacea are known to be effective against B. oleronius;

B. oleronius,  which had previously been found in association with the midgut of termites and identified as Gram negative.

Antibiotic sensitivity testing showed that B. oleronius was sensitive to tetracycline, doxycycline and minocycline. Bacillus oleronius was thus selected for further investigation.

This may well help explain the mystery of how antibiotics work against rosacea.

Related Articles:

Read more about: Demodex Mites

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

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2 Reader Comments

  1. Rosa says:

    I’m convinced topical Metronidazole works by disrupting Demodex Folliculorum (hair follicle mites).

    Furthermore, topical Metronidazole will NOT work by disrupting Demodex Brevis (oil gland mites) because it can not penetrate down in to the sebaceous glands that they dwell in.

    Demodex Folliculorum (hair follicle mites)
    Treatment = topical Metronidazole

    Demodex Brevis (old gland mites)
    Treatment = systemic Accutane

    Treatment for the infections (pimples) caused by the mites dragging and burrowing bacteria commonly found on human skin can be helped by antibiotics. Antibiotics for Rosacea or Acne is just curing the symptom, NOT the cause of the problem. MITES!

    These mites become UN-commensal parasites when they reach large numbers.

    Many things can lead to large numbers (otherwise known as an infestation) – weaken immune system due to illness, stress, aging, poor diet, etc.

  2. Maureen says:

    How do people ever get their Derma Drs. to ever treat them for this with the topical and oral Accutane, when most Drs. don’t believe in this theory.

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