In a preliminary study presented during a poster session at the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting this year, Dr. Richard Burroughs and colleagues of Walter Reed Army Medical Center noted antibiotics may be effective in treating rosacea because of their action against yet-to-be identified bacteria.
Dr. Burroughs' ongoing study, funded by a research grant from the National Rosacea Society, aims to determine whether intracellular bacteria that are present within the microscopic skin mite Demodex folliculorum cause the inflammatory response in rosacea patients. His poster contained a complete electron microscopic cross-section of the mite, which showed several structures consistent with the intracellular bacteria and fungi now under study.
"Our aim is to accurately identify the organism that may be responsible for rosacea and thereby improve medical treatment for this disease," Dr. Burroughs said. He and his colleagues plan to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to determine what type of bacteria may be present in the mite. The researchers noted that bacteria under investigation are sensitive to oral antibiotics that have been found effective in treating rosacea.