The researchers are highlighting 4 main reasons that studying demodex mites is hard ;
- finding them,
- extracting them photographing them alive,
- keeping them alive while studying them and
- proving a human immune response to the mite or its contents.
Perhaps this article hints at the reason for the slow progress on proving a causative link between demodex mites and rosacea.
Certainly there is a lot of interest in the link between rosacea and demodex. See the Related Links at the end of this article for the highlights of recent research into demodex mites.
More Study Needed
Understatement of the year so far in this abstract – “the role of Demodex mites needs to be better understood”. I agree 100%.
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2015 Dec 23, Lacey N, Russell-Hallinan A, Powell FC
Demodex mites are the largest and most complex organisms of the skin microflora.
How they interact with the innate and adaptive immune systems is unknown. Their potential to have a pathogenic role in the causation of human skin disorders causes continued speculation.
With growing interest in the microflora of human skin and its relevance to cutaneous health, the role of Demodex mites needs to be better understood.
The main challenges facing scientists investigating the role of these organisms and possible solutions are reviewed under the following headings:
(1) Determining the mite population in skin,
(2) Transporting, extracting and imaging live mites,
(3) Maintaining mites viable ex vivo and
(4) Establishing methods to determine the immune response to Demodex mites and their internal contents.
Aspects of this work were funded by grants from The Mater Foundation, the National Rosacea Society of America, and in particular, the Irish Health Research Board
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