Mites are microscopic living beings who actively contribute to the degradation of organic matter. Detectable everywhere inside houses, these animals are only 0.5 mm in diameter and are not visible only under a microscope. They are particularly fond of duvets, pillows or mattresses where they feed on human dander. They proliferate in hot and humid environments, but die quickly on dry surfaces. In addition, mites like to live in inside hair follicles or in the sebaceous glands.
This is particularly the case of Demodex folliculorum who particularly likes facial skin. This species lives exclusively in humans. These mites are born on us, feed on us, mate on us and die on us. Their brief existence consists of nibble dead cells of the skin, then to be rejected with the sebum or during the fall of a hair.
A recent British study has just shown that the D.folliculorum so dependent on humans that they are changing from ectoparasite status to that of internal symbiote.
Demodex folliculorum lives only in humans
D.folliculorum is actually a really small creature fascinating. Waste of human skin constitute its sole source of food, and it spends most of its two-week life searching for them. Its legs are animated by three unicellular muscles and his body contains the absolute minimum protein necessary for his survival.
Alejandra Perottian invertebrate biologist at the University of Reading, UK, claimed that one of the genomes of D. folliculorum allows it to adapt to a life inside our pores. It then only comes out at night to crawl slowly over the skin at the search for a partner with which to copulate.
The mites gradually merge with our skin
This study based on genetic sequencing of D. folliculorum suggested that their Man-centered existence caused changes in his relationship to us. Those are genetic mutations who gave them body and behavioral characteristics which are not found in other species of mites.
According to British researchers who conducted this study, survival of D. folliculorum depends solely on humans. This addiction is so strong that this microscopic mite now shares a mutually beneficial relationship with its human host. In fact, it merges gradually with the skin and now lives permanently within us.