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Demodex spp. in the hair follicles of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)


  • Funding: None.

Matthew F. Starost, Veterinary Pathologist, National Institutes of Health, Division of Veterinary Resources, Building 28A, Room 115, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Tel.: 301 451 2176; fax: 301 402 1068; e-mail:


Abstract:  The perineal or perineal and facial skin were evaluated on 53 rhesus macaques as part of a necropsy protocol. Microscopic evaluation of H & E stained skin sections revealed 19 animals positive for Demodex spp. Mites were seen within all portions of the hair follicles. Infestation varied from minimal to severe. Mites were found in macaques of all ages and in both sexes. Reaction to the mites ranged from no reaction, to minimal follicular epidermal hyperplasia to furunculosis. Immune status of the animal did not determine infestation but immune compromised macaques had more severe lesions. This is the first known report of Demodex spp. in rhesus macaques.