Purpose: To investigate correlation between ocular Demodex infestation and serum.
Design: A prospective study to correlate clinical findings with laboratory data.
Participants: We consecutively enrolled 59 patients: 34 men and 25 women with a mean age of 60.4 +/- 17.6 years ( range, 17-93).
Methods: Demodex counting was performed based on lash sampling. Serum immunoreactivity to two 62-kDa and 83-kDa proteins derived from B oleronius was determined by Western blot analysis. Facial rosacea, lid margin, and ocular surface inflammation were documented by photography and graded in a masked fashion.
Main Outcome Measures: Statistical significance based on correlative analyses of clinical and laboratory data.
Results: These 59 patients were age matched, but not gender matched, regarding serum immunoreactivity, ocular Demodex infestation, or facial rosacea. There was a significant correlation between serum immunoreactivity and facial rosacea (P = 0.009), lid margin inflammation (P = 0.040), and ocular Demodex infestation (P = 0.048), but not inferior bulbar conjunctival inflammation (P = 0.573). The Demodex count was significantly higher in patients with positive facial rosacea (6.6 +/- 9.0 vs. 1.9 +/- 2.2; P = 0.014). There was a significant correlation of facial rosacea with lid margin inflammation (P = 0.016), but not with inferior bulbar conjunctival inflammation (P = 0.728). Ocular Demodex infestation was less prevalent in patients with aqueous tear-deficiency dry eye than those without (7/38 vs. 12/21; P = 0.002).
Conclusions: The strong correlation provides a better understanding of comorbidity between Demodex mites and their symbiotic B oleronius in facial rosacea and blepharitis. Treatments directed to both warrant future investigation.