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Thoemmes Demodex DNA Test


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You Almost Certainly Have Mites On Your Face

by Ed Yong
This article mentions a new Demodex DNA test developed by Megan Thoemmes that may prove helpful in comparing demodex density counts on those who suffer rosacea. Wouldn't it be a good idea to test 1,000 rosacea patients and use this new test to compare if the demodex density count is actually higher in rosacea patients as compared with a control group of 1,000 non rosacea patients? What do you think about funding a group of clinicians using the Thoemmes Demodex DNA Test?
Megan S. Thoemmes Daniel J. Fergus, Julie Urban, Michelle Trautwein,Robert R. Dunn
August 27, 2014DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106265
Edited by Brady Barrows, RRDi Director
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Received this response from Dr. Latkany, a member of the RRDi MAC:

as an ophthalmologist we can identify demodex mites just by looking at a slit lamp exam, and do not need a dna test for it, and many of us believe they are commonly found on many eyelids, whether they are a problem is still debated

I would not be in favor of funding such a project

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Received this response from Dr. Holmes, RRDi MAC:

Dear Brady,

It has been proven many times over that patients with rosacea have Demodex loads that are, on average, much higher than controls, albeit not using this particular test. It is no longer a question of “if”, but a question of “why”. I personally feel that this research wouldn’t add much to what is currently known (besides showing a new diagnostic tool can give the same results). Also, a study with 1000 patients would be very, very expensive. Just my thoughts! Thanks for allowing me to comment.

Take care,


Anna Holmes, PhD

Senior Medical Science Liaison

Medical Sciences Medical Affairs Galderma – USA

Received this response from Dr. Latkany:

On Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 7:14 AM, Dr. Latkany wrote:

Just about all rosacea patients have blepharitis (some have anterior and most if not all have posterior blepharitis) and these patients tend to have inflammation in the area which attracts debris and overloads bacteria and demodex. So in general yes there is probably a higher bacteria and demodex density in rosacea patients.

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Dear Brady,

As Anna said, such studies have been performed. Some studies determined prevalence and density of Demodex.
However, Demodex is not the cause of rosacea but just one of a lot of trigger factors in rosaea, therefore, I also think that such a study wouldn’t add much to to our knowledge of pathology of rosacea.
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