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Protozoa and Rosacea


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Colorized electron micrograph showing malaria parasite [protozoa]
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Protozoa and rosacea has not been considered in any clinical paper known to date. However, there is a "link between protozoa, vitamin B12 deficiency, acne and depression" according to at least one clinical paper. [1] This same source states the following about rosacea: 

"Rosacea is another inflammatory skin disease that causes facial redness but it is different from acne, the common denomination being inflammation. Metronidazole, a synthetic antibacterial and antiprotozoal agent of the nitroimidazole class, is used against protozoa such as Trichomonas vaginalis,  amebiasis, and giardiasis. Metronidazole is extremely effective against anaerobic bacterial infections and is also used to treat Crohn’s disease, antibiotic-associated diarrhea and rosacea. The nitroimidazoles class of agents used to treat G. lamblia infection includes metronidazole, tinidazole, ornidazole, and secnidazole. This class was discovered in 1955 and was found to be highly effective against several protozoan infections." [1]

"Protozoa constitute a group of microorganisms, also known as protists, some of which are responsible for serious diseases in humans, such as malaria and Chagas' disease and inflammatory disease conditions." [1] A significant number of worldwide deaths due to diarrhea are caused by three protozoas - Entamoeba, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia. 

The human microbiome includes a number of different microbes, including protozoa. The NRS substantiates that protozoa are included in the human microbiome by publishing this statement,  "Microbes include bacteria, fungi, protozoa [bold added] and others, and may be found in greatest concentrations in the ears, nose, mouth, vagina, digestive tract, anus and the skin." [2] Very little is known about protozoa and rosacea. What exactly are protozoa?

"Protozoa (also protozoan, plural protozoans) is an informal term for single-celled eukaryotes, either free-living or parasitic, which feed on organic matter such as other microorganisms or organic tissues and debris. Historically, the protozoa were regarded as "one-celled animals", because they often possess animal-like behaviors, such as motility and predation, and lack a cell wall, as found in plants and many algae.  Although the traditional practice of grouping protozoa with animals is no longer considered valid, the term continues to be used in a loose way to identify single-celled organisms that can move independently and feed by heterotrophy." Wikipedia

Treatment Used for Malaria Has Proved Successful in Rosacea
There has been some treatments for malaria [protozoa] that have been used to treat rosacea such as mepacrine, artemisinin, artesunate, chloroquine, and hydroxychloroquine that have proved successful in some rosacea patients.  

Protozoa has never been ruled out as having a connection with rosacea. There simply isn't data on this subject. 

There needs to be a clinical study done on protozoa and rosacea. Who would fund such a study? Since protozoa has never been ruled out in causing rosacea, who would support such an investigation? Would you? Just think if 10K members of the RRDi each donated one dollar and insisted on supporting a reputable clinician to study protozoa and rosacea, what might be discovered? If you have a comment about this, please find the green reply button and let us know your comment. 

End Notes

[1] Research, September 2015; DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1087.9200
A direct peripheral blood test to confirm microparasitic infections, 
Beldeu Singh

[2] The Ecology Of Your Face: Demodex, Rosacea And You, National Rosacea Society

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