Parasites, Parasitic Mites – Further Reading

Parasites, Parasitic Mites & Dermanyssus gallinae

Reference Papers and Books

Consult these references to learn more, and some of them may be useful to share with your physician.


Jane Ishka, Year of The Mite, 2016.

You can find the Year of The Mite on Amazon (paperback and Kindle), Apple iBooks,and Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook).

However, unless a second edition is published, the updated protocols are only here on this website.

Olivier Sparagano, Ed. Control of Poultry Mites (Dermanyssus). Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

This collection of published scientific articles on Dermanyssus gallinae examines the phylogeny and control of the species, including acaricide susceptibility, potential as a disease vector, and preliminary work toward a vaccine. Other topics include the use of essential oils to combat the species, the evolution of pesticide resistance, and genetic variability within the species.

Walter, David and Proctor, Heather. Mites: Ecology, Evolution and Behavior CABI. 1999.

This mite text describes the full range of these predators and parasites, across sea and land, and in virtually every tissue of living plants and animals. Included at page 238 is a discussion of the tendency for mites to choose some potential hosts over others within a flock or group.

Zimmer, Carl. Parasite Rex. Free Press: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York. 2000.

This vivid account of how parasites thrive on Earth includes an explanation of how humans were colonized by new parasites as we expanded our geographic range, and the means by which our immune systems fight parasites.

Specific Topic References

 Host Immunosuppression

Wikel, Stephen K. “Modulation of the Host Immune System by Ectoparasitic Arthropods.” BioScience (1999) 49 (4): 311-320.

This journal article explains how blood-feeding and tissue-dwelling arthropods manipulate host defenses to their advantage. Host immunosuppression improves the host environment for the parasite.

Wikel, Stephen K., and Alarcon-Caldez, Francisco. “Progress Toward Molecular Characterization of Ectoparasite Modulation of Host Immunity.” Veterinary Parasitology, Volume 101, Advances in Molecular Parasitology. 22 November 2001.

The authors explain how advances in understanding the mechanism by which arthropod parasites compromise host immune systems may lead to developments in vaccines.

Host Selection and Mite Distribution within a Flock

Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Pest Recommendations for Poultry, 2000.

This publication intended for farmers includes:

Zoonotic Infestation of Humans by Dermanyssus gallinae

George, David R., Finn, Robert D., Graham, Kirsty M., Mul, Monique F., Maurer, Veronika, Moro, Claire Valiente, and Sparagano, Olivier AE:

“Should the poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae be of wider concern for veterinary and medical science?”

Parasites & Vectors 2015, 8:178  doi:10.1186/s13071-015-0768-7

This significant review article is freely available online. It summarizes findings regarding the ability of D. gallinae to switch host species, the increasing numbers of attacks on humans, the diseases carried by D. gallinae, the challenge of host immunosuppression, and difficulties in diagnosis.

Coligros, H., Iglesias-Sancho, M., et al. “Dermanyssus gallinae: an underdiagnosed environmental infestation.” Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, Volume 38, June 2013.

This scientific journal article explores the difficulty of diagnosing an infestation of D. gallinae. The mite may not be seen on an office visit. Doctors should be informed that this infestation is possible even in an urban area. D. gallinae should be considered during diagnosis of skin conditions that do not respond to standard treatment.

 Infestation by Mites Inside the Human Body

Dini, Leigh A., and Frean, John A. “Clinical Significance of Mites in Urine.” Journal of Clinical Microbiology, December 2005, 43(12).

The authors describe a finding of a mite egg in a urine sample referred to the Parasitology Reference Unit of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. In addition, they survey other journal articles regarding findings of mites and mite eggs in urinary and gastrointestinal waste samples. They reference a study in China where 3.5% of urinary samples and 6.2% of stool samples included environmental mite eggs, larvae or adults.

Rong-Bo Zhang et al. “Diagnosis of intestinal acariasis with avidin-biotin system enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.” World Journal of Gastroenterology 2004 May 1; 10(9): 1369-1371.

This is one of several journal articles from China describing methods for detection of mites in feces.

Diseases Carried by Dermanyssus gallinae

Moro, C. Valiente, De Luna, C.J., et al., “The Poultry Red Mite (Dermanyssus gallinae): A Potential Vector of Pathogenic Agents.Experimental and Applied Acarology, Volume 48, Nos. 1-2, 93-104. 2009.

The poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae has been involved in the transmission of many pathogens responsible for serious illness in humans and other animals. As listed in the article, these include Encephalitis, Pasteurella, Salmonella, Listeria, and Spirochetes.

(Republished in Sparagano, Ed., Section A of this Reference List.)

See also George, David R., et al.,

“Should the poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae be of wider concern for veterinary and medical science?”

Listed in Section C of this reference list.

Pesticide Resistance

Marangi, M.A. Cafiero, et al. “Evaluation of the Poultry Red Mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, Susceptibility to Some Acaricides in Field Populations in Italy.” Experimental and Applied Acarology, Volume 48, Nos. 1-2, 11-18. 2008.

The authors found large differences in effectiveness among commonly used acaricides, with evidence of increasing resistance.

Republished in Sparagano, Ed., Section A of this Reference List.

Finding Additional References

An extensive literature exists on mites and acariasis. Additional articles can be found using the science search capability of the United States Government: