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(Hair-follicle Mites)



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These elongated, worm-like mites have stump-like legs. They are parasitic in the subaceous glands and hair follicles of humans and animals. They have modified piercing mouthparts. Members of the genus Demodes in the family Demodicidae attack humans.


Demodex folliculorum Simon is a hair follicle mite of humans. Matheson (1950) reported that it lives in the hair follicles and sebaceous glands where the life cycle is passed and infection can spread. However, it of little importance in spreading disease. Demodex canis Leydig infests dogs, causing mange, which is difficult to control. Reports on this mite attacking humans are not substantiated even given the close association with dogs in households.




Distribution of these mites may be worldwide but they are rarely found in North America. Other species in the genus attack a variety of animals such as dogs and cattle, and are capable of spreading disease. But they rarely are found on humans and apparently incapable of spreading disease pathogens if present.


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Key References: <medvet.ref.htm> [Additional references may be found at: MELVYL Library]


Jarmuda, Stanisław; Niamh O'Reilly, Ryszard Żaba, Oliwia Jakubowicz, Andrej Szkaradkiewicz & Kevin Kavanagh. 2012. "The potential

role of Demodex folliculorum mites and bacteria in the induction of rosacea". J. Med. Microbiol. 61: 150410.

Lindsey, Kristina, Sueko Matsumara, Elham Hatel & Esen K. Akpek. 2012. Interventions for chronic blepharitis. Cochrane Database of

Systematic Reviews 5: CD00556.

Liu, Jingbo; Sheha, Hosam; Tseng, Scheffer C. G. (October 2010). Pathogenic role of Demodex mites in blepharitis. Current Opinion in

Allergy & Clinical Immunology. 10 (5): 505510.

MacKenzie, Debora. 2012. Rosacea may be caused by mite faeces in your pores. New Scientist Aug 30.

Matheson, R. 1950. Medical Entomology. Comstock Publ. Co, Inc. 610 p.

Rufli, T.; Mumcuoglu, Y. 1981. "The hair follicle mites Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis: biology and medical importance. A review".

Dermatologica 162 (1): 111.

Rush, Aisha. 2000. Demodex follicularum. Animal Diversity, Univ. of Michigan.

Sengbusch, H. G. & J. W. Hauswirth. 1986. "Prevalence of hair follicle mites, Demodex folliculorum and D. brevis (Acari: Demodicidae), in a

selected human population in western New York, USA". J. Medical Ent. 23 (4): 384388.

Service, M. 2008. Medical Entomology For Students. Cambridge Univ. Press. 289 p

Thoemmes, Megan S., Daniel J. Fergus, Julie Urban, Michelle Trautwein, Robert R. Dunn & Sergios-Orestis Kolokotronis. 2014. "Ubiquity

and Diversity of Human-Associated Demodex Mites". P L O S-One. 9 (8): e106265.

Urquhart, G. M. (1996). Veterinary Parasitology (2nd ed.). Blackwell Publ. Corp.

Zhao, Ya-e, Li Hu, Li-ping Wu & Jun-xian Ma. 2012. A meta-analysis of association between acne ulgaris & Demodex infestation. J. Zhjiang

Univ. Science B. March.

Zhao, Ya-e, Yan Peng, Xiang-Ian Wang, Li-ping Wu, Mei Wang, Hu-ling Yan & Sheng-xiang Xiao. 2011. Facial dermatosis associated with

Demodex: a case-control study. J. Zhejiang Univ., Science B. 12 (8): 10081015