Content » Vol 68, Issue 6

The hair follicle mites (Demodex spp.). Could they be vectors of pathogenic microorganisms?

Wolf R, Ophir J, Avigad J, Lengy J, Krakowski A.
DOI: 10.2340/0001555568535537


The hair follicle mites Demodex folliculorum and D. brevis are the most common permanent ectoparasites of Man. Ordinarily they are harmless to their human host and appear to be of no medical significance. We present, however, an unusual finding regarding this mite, namely, that in a potassium hydroxide mount of a skin scraping from a mycotic plaque we found numerous Demodex mites containing inside them spores of Microsporum canis. This could mean that the putatively inoffensive Demodex has the potential to ingest various microorganisms that are found in its niche and transport them to other areas of the skin or possibly to other individuals.


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