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      Conjunctivitis induced by a red bodied mite, Neotrombicula autumnalis Translated title: Conjonctivite induite par un aoûtat, Neotrombicula autumnalis

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          This is a description of an unusual case of conjunctivitis caused by a trombiculid red mite, Neotrombicula autumnalis. The patient’s condition improved only after its removal and with application of carbomer gel eye drops. There have been reports of increasing numbers of severe cases of trombiculosis over the last 15 years particularly in Germany and a number of cases have also been reported in the United Kingdom. Cases where trombiculid larvae feed on any region of the head or face of humans are unknown. In addition it is most likely the patient acquired the infection from her pet cat and this is the first description of acquisition from this animal.

          Translated abstract

          Ceci est la description d’un cas inhabituel de conjonctivite causée par un acarien Trombiculidae, Neotrombicula autumnalis. La condition de la patiente ne s’est améliorée qu’après extirpation de l’animal et application de gouttes pour de gel pour les yeux au carbomer. Un nombre accru de cas sévères de trombiculose a été rapporté ces quinze dernières années d’Allemagne et des cas ont aussi été rapportés du Royaume Uni. Les cas où les aoûtats se nourrissent sur une région de la tête ou de la face sont inconnus. De plus, il est très probable que la patiente a acquis l’infection de son chat, et ceci est la première description d’une transmission depuis cet animal.

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          Most cited references 6

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          Molecular detection of Ehrlichia phagocytophila genogroup organisms in larvae of Neotrombicula autumnalis (Acari: Trombiculidae) captured in Spain.

          Twenty unfed larvae of Neotrombicula autumnalis (Acari: Trombiculidae) collected on vegetation in the north of Spain were examined by polymerase chain reaction for Borrelia burgdorferi (s.l.). rickettsiae, and the Ehrlichia phagocytophila genogroup. At least 10% of the larvae were found to contain granulocytic ehrlichiae. Because the larvae were unfed, they would necessarily have inherited the bacteria through a transovarian transmission pathway.
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            Multiple environmental factor analysis in habitats of the harvest mite Neotrombicula autumnalis (Acari: Trombiculidae) suggests extraordinarily high euryoecious biology.

            The harvest mite Neotrombicula autumnalis (Trombiculidae) has become a great nuisance in various vegetated areas in Germany over the last 15 years. According to reports of dermatologists, this species appears to have propagated and spread significantly. Moreover, cases of severe trombidiosis or trombidiosis-like skin reactions have been noticed at unusually early times of the year. Due to the lack of scientific studies, little is known about the ecology of N. autumnalis and its distribution, and preferred habitats cannot be predicted. A four-year study was conducted to identify trombiculid foci in different areas of Bonn in order (1) to determine the timing of larvae appearance in different years, (2) to identify the factors that lead to high larvae abundances at the mite foci ('multiple factor analysis'), and (3) to develop an ecological control strategy. By means of the 'tile catch method' (TCM) which turned out to be most appropriate to collect data on the distribution and abundances of trombiculid mites, larvae of N. autumnalis were caught from mid July until the end of October/beginning of November. The distribution of the mites was patchy, supporting the hypothesis that certain factors cause a concentration in foci. Most of the mite foci had a fixed location for at least three years. Efforts to isolate nymphs and adults in larger quantities to gain knowledge about their preferred soil areas and soil depths failed. Only some nymphs of N. autumnalis could be found living 10-40 cm deep in the soil. Due to the restriction that the nymphs and adults can only rarely be isolated in the ground, the analysis of environmental factors was executed based on abundances of questing larvae on the soil surface. The detailed analysis of soil-physical, soil-chemical and meso-faunistic factors could not finally explain the unequal distribution of the mites, although the porosity of the soil had a statistically significant slight influence on the abundance of larvae, and soil pH bordered significance, also suggesting a slight influence. Furthermore, soil temperatures during the winter seasons in three subsequent years appeared too high to affect the harvest mite. The field experiments suggest that N. autumnalis and particularly its larval stages are extremely euryoecious (meaning tolerating very different environmental conditions). Further studies are necessary: additional investigations on the influence of certain abiotic environmental factors on N. autumnalis, the search for factors underlying the rhythmicity of its life cycle ('zeitgeber'), and the reasons and mechanisms for heterogeneous distribution of soil fauna in general. Ecological control of the mite is, in principle, possible but only after identifying the foci and ascertaining their approximate dimensions with the TCM. This control strategy is the most promising one, albeit very laborious, emphasising the need of further research on the ecology of the harvest mite.
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              Trombiculiasis: clinical contribution.

              Neotrombicula autumnalis is an arthropod usually living in the soil, except for the short period of the larval stage when it becomes a real parasite of warm-blooded hosts. We present a case of human trombiculiasis, which is unusual because of the parasite transmission from animals to humans, as in a typical synanthropic dermatosis.

                Author and article information

                EDP Sciences
                04 July 2013
                : 20
                : ( publisher-idID: parasite/2013/01 )
                [1 ] Department of Microbiology, Ninewells Hospital Dundee DD1 9SY United Kingdom
                [2 ] Department of Ophthalmology, Ninewells Hospital Dundee DD1 9SY United Kingdom
                [3 ] Department of Microbiology, Glasgow Royal Infirmary Glasgow G4 0SF United Kingdom
                [4 ] Scottish Parasite Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory, Stobhill Hospital Glasgow G21 3UW United Kingdom
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: b.parcell@ 123456nhs.net
                parasite130040 10.1051/parasite/2013025
                © B.J. Parcell et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2013

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 10, Pages: 3
                Research Article


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