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Bacteria Theory


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  • Root Admin

An article in the June 1, 2004 Dermatolgy Times by Rebecca Bryant quotes Michael Detmar, M.D., as saying, "Bacteria are likely involved because what works to some extent as a treatment are antibiotics. Also there appears to be a relationship to photo damage."

Rosacea: turning all stones for source of pathology, Jun 1, 2004, Rebecca Bryant, Modern Medicine

"A bacterial cause for the disease has been hypothesized, but no consistent findings of one bacteria have been demonstrated."

Acne Rosacea, Marian S. Macsai, Mark J. Mannis, and Arthur C. Huntley, Chapter 41, DISEASE ENTITY, 1996 by Lippincott-Raven Publishers

At least five different types of bacteria have been implicated, suggested or investigated with rosacea:

Helicobacter Pylori

Chlamydophila pneumoniae


Bacillus oleronius [1]

Staphylococcus epidermidis [2]

Staphylococcus aureus [3]

Also see Microorganisms

End Notes

[1] Mite-related bacterial antigens stimulate inflammatory cells in rosacea.
Lacey N, Delaney S, Kavanagh K, Powell FC.
Br J Dermatol. 2007 Sep;157(3):474-81. Epub 2007 Jun 26

Positive correlation between serum immuno-reactivity to Demodex-associated Bacillus proteins and Erythematotelangiectic Rosacea.
O'Reilly N, Menezes N, Kavanagh K.
Br J Dermatol. 2012 Jun 18. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.11114.x.

Demodex-associated Bacillus proteins induce an aberrant wound healing response in a corneal epithelial cell line (hTCEpi).
O'Reilly N, Gallagher C, Katikireddy K, Clynes M, O'Sullivan F, Kavanagh K.
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012 Apr 24.

The potential role of Demodex folliculorum mites and bacteria in the induction of rosacea.
Stanislaw Jarmuda, Niamh O'Reilly, Ryszard Zaba, Oliwia Jakubowicz, Andrzej Szkaradkiewicz and Kevin Kavanagh.
Journal of Medical Microbiology, 2012 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.048090-0 Article at PubMed

Media reports have highlighted demodectic rosacea.

More info

[2] Staphylococcus epidermidis: A possible role in the pustules of rosacea.
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Oct 11;
Authors: Whitfeld M, Gunasingam N, Leow LJ, Shirato K, Preda V
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Oct 11.

[3] "No study in rosacea met our inclusion criteria....No studies could be included that assessed S. aureus colonization in patients with rosacea. Also in current review literature S. aureus is not implicated in the pathophysiology of rosacea ...As S. aureus is common at all depths of the skin...For patients with acne a relation between colonization and the disease was less evident and for rosacea no information about colonization could be obtained from the literature."

A systematic review and meta-analysis on Staphylococcus aureus carriage in psoriasis, acne and rosacea
J. E. E. Totté,corresponding author W. T. van der Feltz, L. G. M. Bode, A. van Belkum, E. J. van Zuuren, and S. G. M. A. Pasmans
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2016; 35: 1069–1077.
Published online 2016 May 5. doi:  10.1007/s10096-016-2647-3

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  • Root Admin

As this thread points out, at least five different bacteria have been implicated, suggested or investigated with rosacea. The latest one investigated is Staphylococcus aureus. However, the bacteria theory on the cause of rosacea is still debated and there really is no solid evidence yet. 

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