Sunday, September 13, 2020

Answer to Case 606

 Answer to Parasite Case of the Week 606: Demodex folliculorum, the human follicle mite. Like all mites, this arthropod is an arachnid, related to ticks and spiders. It is NOT an insect. Note the presence of 8 legs in its adult state.

If you have time and interest, I would encourage you to check out the comments from other readers. Florida Fan reminded us how beautiful these mites look when using the Calcofluor KOH stain with UV light excitation (See Case of the Week 278 to see lovely little pair of mites), and Dr. Pankaj commented that the mites stain red with an acid fast stain. I will definitely have to try this! 

I also like Kosta's suggestion of having students sample their ears for Demodex mites. Another thing I will have to try. After all, part of the fun of teaching parasitology is 'grossing everyone out'. Also, as Idzi mentioned, it is a great reminder that one is never along, along as the Demodex buddies are there!

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