These mites live on almost all people, but scientists believe that now they become one with us.
On the face of almost all people on Earth live very small, only 0.3 mm in length, skin mites called Demodex folliculorum or acne gland. They live in hair follicles for their entire short life. These skin mites are born on a person's face, mate on us and die there. A new study shows that in the process of evolution, the acne gland gradually turns from a parasitic organism into a human internal symbiont, that is, it can no longer simply live without us, according to ScienceAlert.
According to scientists from the University of Reading, UK, now Demodex folliculorum becomes an internal organism living in our body, that is, it gradually merges with us to become one with us.
“Our study of the genome of these microscopic creatures shows that they gradually evolve and adapt to permanently live inside the pores on the human face,” says Alejandra Perotti from the University of Reading.
These acne mites live in the hair follicles on the human face and feed on fatty secretion – sebum. This is the only food for this tick, and for two weeks of its life, it almost does nothing but eat.
These mites have a mouth, four pairs of legs, and their intestines grow all their lives. In order to mate, these ticks come out of their shelter only at night. And after breeding, they return back to the pores on the face.
According to scientists, the reproductive organs of these mites are located in front of the body, and the special arrangement of the penises in males suggests that they must always be under the female in order to reproduce.
Given the fact that Demodex folliculorum has no natural predators and no contact with other mites, their genome contains only the most essential information for survival. That is why these skin mites come out to “walk” only at night. In the process of evolution, they have lost the genes that are responsible for protection from sunlight.
According to scientists, due to the fact that the gene pool of mites is too small for further development, they have reached the so-called evolutionary dead end, which does not allow for the creation of genetic biodiversity. Scientists have found that acne mites began to gradually evolve in order to adapt to complete symbiosis with humans.
But during symbiosis, both organisms mutually benefit from living together. So far, scientists have not exactly decided on what benefits this tick can bring to us. There is one suggestion though.
“Earlier, scientists believed that mites had no anus and they accumulate their waste inside all their lives, and then when they die and decompose, this waste can cause the development of the skin disease demodicosis.But we found out that these arthropods still have microscopic anus.So perhaps these mites can play a role pore cleaner on the human face. But this requires more research, “says Perotti.
As Focus already wrote, one of the types of ticks living in Africa can live half a life without food .
We remind you that ticks carry a potentially deadly virus in the US.