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Iran J Parasitol. 2017 Jan-Mar;12(1):12-21.

Human Permanent Ectoparasites; Recent Advances on Biology and Clinical Significance of Demodex Mites: Narrative Review Article.

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Dept. of Medical Biology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland.
Dept. of Dermatology and Allergy, Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich, Munich, Germany.
Women's Health Center, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, New Taipei, Taiwan.



Demodex is a genus of mites living predominantly in mammalian pilosebaceous units. They are commonly detected in the skin of face, with increasing numbers in inflammatory lesions. Causation between Demodex mites and inflammatory diseases, such as rosacea, blepharitis, perioral and seborrhoeic dermatitis or chalazion, is controversially discussed. Clinical observations indicate a primary form of human Demodex infection. The aim of this review was to highlight the biological aspects of Demodex infestation and point out directions for the future research.


We conducted a broad review based on the electronic database sources such as MEDLINE, PubMed and Scopus with regard to the characteristics of the Demodex species, methods of examination and worldwide epidemiology, molecular studies and its role in the complex human ecosystem.


Demodex mites are organisms with a worldwide importance as they act in indicating several dermatoses, under certain conditions. However, correlations between Demodex and other parasites or microorganisms occupying one host, as well as interactions between these arachnids and its symbiotic bacteria should be considered. There are few methods of human mites' examination depending on purpose of the study. Nevertheless, paying attention must be needed as polymorphism of Demodex species has been reported.


Overall, the present review will focus on different aspects of Demodex mites' biology and significance of these arachnids in human's health.


Demodex brevis; Demodex folliculorum; Demodicosis; Ectoparasites


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