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Question For Dr. Tseng & Other Mac Members

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A new study which Dr. Tseng participated in entitled, Correlation between Ocular Demodex Infestation and Serum Immunoreactivity to Bacillus Proteins in Patients with Facial Rosacea, was just announced today on PubMed. Could Dr. Tseng or any of the other MAC members interpret what the results of this study might mean for us? It is rather scientific and needs some translation into layman's tongue with your thoughts on this study, please.

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Some of the MAC Members reply to questions by email to me and I then publish the answers for them. Here is a reply from Kosta Y. Mumcuoglu, PhD regarding this topic question:


It is known that patients with papulopustular rosacea have a higher density of Demodex folliculorum mites on their faces than normal subjects but their role in initiating inflammation is disputed. It was reported that when the number of Demodex mites increases, there is a higher chance to develop a bacterial infection and inflammation, which could be considered as a result of the mite activity and damage caused. Selective antibiotics are effective in reducing the inflammatory changes of papulopustular rosacea, but their mode of action is unknown. Lately, a bacterium (Bacillus oleronius) was isolated from a D. folliculorum mite extracted from the face of a patient with papulopustular rosacea. To investigate whether this mite-related bacterium was capable of expressing antigens that could stimulate an inflammatory immune response in patients with rosacea, Lacey et al. (2007) investigated patients with rosacea and control subjects and found that in the presence of bacterial antigens, the proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells was significantly higher in patients with rosacea than in control subject. Accordingly, it is thought that mite-related bacteria have the potential to stimulate an inflammatory response in patients with papulopustular rosacea.

Li et al. (2010) investigated the correlation between ocular Demodex mite infestation and sero-positivity of the patients to B. oleronius in 49 patients with facial rosacea. Facial rosacea, lid margin, and ocular surface inflammation were documented by photography. There was a significant correlation between serum immunoreactivity (presence of the bacterium) and facial rosacea, lid margin inflammation, and ocular Demodex infestation. The Demodex count was significantly higher in patients with positive facial rosacea. The strong correlation provides a better understanding of co-morbidity between Demodex mites and their symbiotic B. oleronius in facial rosacea and blepharitis. Treatments directed to both warrant future investigation.


Li J, O'Reilly N, Sheha H, Katz R, Raju VK, Kavanagh K, Tseng SC. Correlation between Ocular Demodex Infestation and Serum Immunoreactivity to Bacillus Proteins in Patients with Facial Rosacea. Ophthalmology. 2010 Jan 14. [Epub ahead of print]

Lacey N, Delaney S, Kavanagh K, Powell FC. Mite-related bacterial antigens stimulate inflammatory cells in rosacea. Br J Dermatol. 2007 Sep;157(3):474-81.

Kosta Y. Mumcuoglu, PhD


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