Global divergence of the human follicle mite Demodex folliculorum: Persistent associations between host ancestry and mite lineages


Palopoli, M.F. et al, including Thoemmes, M.S.

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Demodex mite lineages can be predicted by the ancestral geography of humans, where 27% of the total molecular variance of mites segregated according to the regional ancestries of their hosts. D. folliculorum populations are stable on an individual over the course of years or even across generations outside of the geographic region of birth or ancestry, and mite haplotypes were much more likely to be shared within families and between spouses than between unrelated individuals, indicating that mite transmission requires close contact. Additionally, D. folliculorum evolution reflects ancient human population divergences that are consistent with an out-of-Africa dispersal hypothesis, presenting a model system for further understanding the history of human movement.

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