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Bacteria May Play a Role in Pustular and Ocular Rosacea

Swabs taken from rosacea pustules and eyelid margins identify growth of S. epidermidis

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis) may be involved in pustular and ocular rosacea, according to research published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Margot Whitfeld, M.B.B.S., of St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues cultured bacteria from 15 patients with clinically diagnosed pustular rosacea and 15 age- and sex-matched controls. Swabs were taken from incised pustules, ipsilateral cheek skin, and eyelid margins.

The researchers identified a pure growth of S. epidermidis in nine of 15 patients with pustular rosacea compared with no growth in the surrounding cheek skin (P = .0003). A pure growth of S. epidermis was identified on the eyelid margins of four out of 15 pustular rosacea patients, with no growth on controls (P = .05).

"This result suggests that S. epidermidis is likely to be an integral part of the disease process in pustular rosacea and may play a role in ocular rosacea," the authors write. "Further study is warranted to explore the significance of the role of S. epidermidis in papulopustular rosacea and ocular rosacea."

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