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J Med Entomol. 2021 Jul 31:tjab120. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjab120. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

The prevalence of mites of the genus Demodex and their associations with host age, gender, workplace, and comorbid skin and ocular conditions were studied in participants in Antofagasta, Chile, which is in a region with an extreme environment. We examined 680 participants aged 18-88 yr using standardized surface skin biopsies. Among them, Demodex had a prevalence of 13.5 % (95% confidence interval, 10.88-16.17). A slightly higher prevalence was observed in males (51.1%; 95% confidence interval, 40.9-61.3; nonsignificant) and participants in the 69-88 yr age group (50.0%; 95% confidence interval, 23.8-76.2; P < 0.05). Regarding the species involved, Demodex folliculorum was found in 89.1% (CI 82.7-95.5) of cases, while D. brevis was found in the remaining 10.9% of cases. A higher prevalence (25.0% CI 16.1-33.91) was observed in participants who worked indoors in generally enclosed and dust-rich environments (such as theaters, libraries, and administrative offices). There was also a strong association between Demodex prevalence and conjunctival hyperemia, with 35.9% (95% confidence interval, 9.1-35; OR 17.9) of the Demodex positive participants having this pathology compared to 10.3% of the noninfested participants. In summary, the prevalence of Demodex in Antofagasta, Chile (13.5%) was toward the lower end of the range reported among other regions around the world. Environmental factors such as exposure to the sun (including ultraviolet rays) or environmental pollution may affect the mites. In addition, Demodex genetics (related to virulence) and the ocular or skin microbiota may positively or negatively influence infestation and pathology.

PMID:34331059 | DOI:10.1093/jme/tjab120

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