Moths: The microscopic organisms that live on our faces will have a few days

It is known that the public moths They live on different surfaces. Some people are allergic and perceive their presence through the immediate reaction of their body, however, the rest of humans fail to notice their presence.

These microorganisms They can also live in the human body This seems to have been going on for thousands of years. Whether in the hair, in the pores or on the skin, they develop a microscopic world. Now, a recent study conducted by University of Reading Over the follicle demodex (Akari) warned that because of his evolution, They will stop being parasites to become symbionts. This means that they could be close to becoming one with humans.

It is considered a type of arachnid, more closely related to ticks than to spiders, but mites D. folliculorum They are the ones who usually reside (and mate) on people’s faces. “Most people carry mites In the hair follicles of the skin throughout its life. The marsupial mite is the only metazoan that lives continuously in humans,” they explained in this study by five scientists, two of whom are Argentinians, Alejandra Perotti and Henk Braig.

Demodex folliculorum mites on the skin under a Hirox microscope.Courtesy of University of Reading

As they identified, these objects measure about 0.3 mmfound in hair follicles on the face and nipples, as well as eyelashes, and They feed on the fats that the body naturally releases through the pores. They describe: “They are activated at night and cycle between follicles looking to mate.”

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In the study published in the journal Molecular biology and evolutionExperts warned that called moths follicle demodex (Akari) is currently in transition, in genome and physiology, from parasite that harms host, to symbiont. They pointed out that “this is the first evolutionary step in arthropod species that adopt a reductive, parasitic or endosymbiotic lifestyle,” and thus the scientists concluded:Loss of DNA repair genes coupled with severe inbreeding could put this species of mite on a dead end evolutionary path.“.

Due to its secluded existence, lack of exposure to external threats, no competition with infested hosts, and no encounter with other mites with different genes, genetic reduction made them Very simple organisms with small legs supported by only three unicellular muscles. They live with a minimal repertoire of proteins, the lowest number seen in this and related species,” they developed.

As they cautioned, this series of adaptations, “this is the first step for the mites to become commensal.” Moreover, the experts noted, “The lack of exposure to potential spouses who could add new genes to their offspring may have set the mites on the path of Evolutionary dead end and potential extinction. This has been seen before in bacteria that live inside cells, but not in an animal.”

Freddie Dawson

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