Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Dermatol. 2012 Nov;167(5):1032-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.11114.x. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Positive correlation between serum immunoreactivity to Demodex-associated Bacillus proteins and erythematotelangiectatic rosacea.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biology, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland.



Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the skin of the face and the eyes. Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea is characterized by flushing, oedema and telangiectasia. Patients with rosacea demonstrate elevated densities of Demodex mites in their skin compared with controls. A bacterium (Bacillus oleronius) isolated from Demodex mites from a patient with papulopustular rosacea has been demonstrated to produce antigenic proteins that may play a role in papulopustular and ocular rosacea.


To establish whether there was a correlation between the reactivity of sera from patients with erythematotelangiectatic rosacea to Bacillus antigens, and to characterize the proteins to which these patients showed reactivity.


Serum samples from patients with erythematotelangiectatic rosacea and controls were examined for reactivity to Bacillus proteins by Western blot analysis. Proteins to which the sera reacted were excised from gels, trypsin digested, and putative identities were assigned following liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis.


Eighty per cent (21/26) of patients with erythematotelangiectatic rosacea showed serum reactivity to the 62- and 83-kDa proteins of B. oleronius, compared with 40% (9/22) of controls (P = 0·004). The 62-kDa protein was characterized by LC-MS and showed homology to groEL chaperonin, which provokes a strong immune response in mammals. The 83-kDa protein showed homology to aconitate hydratase, of which expression is increased in bacteria under oxidative stress, and which is highly immunogenic.


The majority of patients with erythematotelangiectatic rosacea show serum reactivity to two proteins from B. oleronius, suggesting that this bacterium may play a role in the induction of this condition. The two proteins to which patient sera reacted were found to be similar to a heat shock protein and an enzyme involved in regulating the stress response of the bacterium.

© 2012 The Authors. BJD © 2012 British Association of Dermatologists.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk