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Infection rate, reaction to light, and hair follicle apoptosis are examined in the dogmite, Demodex canis Leydig (Prostigmata: Demodicidae), in dogs from the northern area of Taiwan. An analysis of relevant samples revealed 7.2% (73/1013) prevalence of D. canis infection. Infection during the investigation peaked each winter, with an average prevalence of 12.5% (32/255). The infection rates significantly varied in accordance with month, sex, age, and breed (p < 0.05). Most of the lesions were discovered on the backs of the infected animals, where the infection rate was 52.1% (38/73) (P < 0.05). The epidemiologic analysis of infection based on landscape area factor, found that employing a map-overlapping method showed a higher infection rate in the eastern distribution of Taiwan's northern area than other areas. Isolation tests for Microsporum canis Bodin (Onygenales: Arthrodermataceae) and Trichophyton mentagrophyte Robin (Blanchard) on the D. canis infected dogs revealed prevalence rates of 4.4% (2/45) and 2.2% (1/45), respectively. Observations demonstrated that D. canis slowly moved from a light area to a dark area. Skin samples were examined for cellular apoptosis by activated caspase3 immunohistochemical staining. Cells that surrounded the infected hair follicles were activated caspase3-positive, revealing cell apoptosis in infected follicles via the activation of caspase3.
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