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Pre-Treatment and Post-Treatment Demodex Densities in Patients under Immunosuppressive Treatments

Dermatology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Ondokuz Mayıs University, Samsun 55139, Turkey
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Medicina 2020, 56(3), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56030107
Received: 5 February 2020 / Revised: 22 February 2020 / Accepted: 27 February 2020 / Published: 3 March 2020
Background and Objectives: Demodex species are common obligatory parasites and normally present in low number in human beings. Immunosuppression was suggested to be associated with increased density of Demodex mites. Systemic glucocorticoids, cyclosporine, methotrexate, and azathioprine are commonly used immunosuppressive agents. We aim to determine the pre- and post-treatment Demodex densities in patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy and compare with those of healthy subjects. Materials and Methods: Demodex density was investigated at the beginning, first, and third months of the immunosuppressive therapy in 45 patients who received methotrexate, cyclosporine, systemic steroid, or azathioprine treatments and in 45 healthy subjects at the same time as the patients. Five standardized skin surface biopsies were taken from cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin of the patients and control group. The presence of five or more parasites in 1 cm2 area was considered as positive. Results: Demodex test was negative at the beginning of the treatment in all patients. Demodex test was positive in one patient in the first and third months of treatment and in three patients only in the third month of treatment. In the control group, Demodex test was determined as positive in just one healthy individual at the beginning, first and third months of the study. When the patient and control groups were evaluated in terms of Demodex number, there was a statistically significant difference in Demodex density in patients treated with immunosuppressive treatment in the first and third months when compared with the control group (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Immunosuppressive treatment might increase the number of Demodex mites and demodicidosis should be kept in mind in patients on immunosuppressive treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: azathioprine; corticosteroids; cyclosporine; demodex; immunosuppressive treatment; methotrexate azathioprine; corticosteroids; cyclosporine; demodex; immunosuppressive treatment; methotrexate
MDPI and ACS Style

Keles, H.; Pancar Yuksel, E.; Aydin, F.; Senturk, N. Pre-Treatment and Post-Treatment Demodex Densities in Patients under Immunosuppressive Treatments. Medicina 2020, 56, 107.

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