Sep 02, 2012 3:13 AM GMT
The disease affects all races but is known as the “curse of the Celts” as it is thought to especially affect people with very fair skin, although it may simply be more visible on their skin. Rosacea is commonly blamed on another alleged Celtic curse – excessive drinking. But while alcohol can trigger a flare-up, so can many other kinds of stress. Teetotallers are just as susceptible, according to the US National Rosacea Society. . . . Kavanagh notes that one kind of bacteria in the mites’ guts, Bacillus oleronius, is killed by the antibiotics that work against rosacea, and not by other types of antibiotics. His lab reported in June that 80 per cent of people with the most common kind of rosacea have immune cells in their blood that react strongly to two proteins from B. Oleronius, releasing triggers of inflammation. Only 40 per cent of people without rosacea have this reaction. Kavanagh is now trying to get funding to develop antibodies to the bacterial proteins, to track their location and link them more firmly to the disease. Ultimately, treatments aimed at the trigger proteins may prevent rosacea.