PCR analysis for Wolbachia in human and canine Demodex mites

Arch Dermatol Res. 2009 Oct;301(10):747-52. doi: 10.1007/s00403-009-0984-0. Epub 2009 Aug 4.


In many skin diseases such as Demodex folliculitis, rosacea- or steroid-induced rosacea Demodex mites are present in abundance and are at least partially held responsible for causing these disorders. Although it is known that these diseases respond well to tetracyclines, it is unclear if this is due to the antiinflammatory effects of the antibiotics or to an antibacterial effect on so far unknown bacteria within the Demodex mites. As in filariasis, where the response to doxycycline can be explained by the presence of Wolbachia within the filarial nematodes, this study was performed to see whether Wolbachia also use Demodex mites as their hosts. Human and canine Demodex mite samples were taken by skin scrapings and tested by PCR for the presence of Wolbachia DNA. Wolbachia pipientis DNA was used as positive control. In none of the DNA extracts, Wolbachia were detected showing no evidence for the presence of these bacteria in Demodex mites. The response of Demodex aggravated or Demodex caused diseases to tetracyclines seems not to be due to the presence of Wolbachia in Demodex mites in contrast to the results seen in filariasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Dogs
  • Folliculitis
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / diagnosis
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / genetics*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / pathology
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Mite Infestations / diagnosis
  • Mite Infestations / drug therapy
  • Mite Infestations / microbiology*
  • Mite Infestations / pathology
  • Mite Infestations / physiopathology
  • Mites / microbiology*
  • Mites / pathogenicity
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Rosacea
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Skin / pathology
  • Symbiosis
  • Tetracyclines / therapeutic use
  • Wolbachia / genetics*
  • Wolbachia / pathogenicity


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Tetracyclines