Efficacy of treatments for Demodex blepharitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Valentin Navel, Aurélien Mulliez, Cédric Benoist d'Azy, Julien S. Baker, Jean Malecaze, Frédéric Chiambaretta, Frédéric Dutheil

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We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy of different treatment for Demodex blepharitis. Parameters studied were mites count, improvement of symptoms and mites' eradication, stratified on type of treatments and mode of delivery of treatments (local or systemic).


The PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase, ClinicalTrials.gov, Google scholar and Science Direct databases were searched for studies reporting an efficacy of treatments for Demodex blepharitis.

We included 19 studies (14 observational and 5 randomized clinical trials), for a total of 934 patients, 1741 eyes, and 13 different treatments. For mites count, eradication rate, and symptoms improvement, meta-analysis included fifteen, fourteen and thirteen studies, respectively. The overall effect sizes for efficiency of all treatments, globally, were 1.68 (95CI 1.25 to 2.12), 0.45 (0.26 to 0.64), and 0.76 (0.59 to 0.90), respectively. Except usual lid hygiene for mites count, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario ointment (CHEO) for both eradication rate and symptoms, and CHEO, 2% metronidazole ointment, and systemic metronidazole for symptoms, all treatments were efficient. Stratified meta-analysis did not show significant differences between local and systemic treatments (1.22, 0.83 to 1.60 vs 2.24, 1.30 to 3.18 for mites count; 0.37, 0.21 to 0.54 vs 0.56, 0.06 to 0.99 for eradication rate; and 0.77, 0.58 to 0.92 vs 0.67, 0.25 to 0.98 for symptoms improvement).

We reported the efficiency of the different treatments of Demodex blepharitis. Because of less systemic side effects, local treatments seem promising molecules in the treatment of Demodex blepharitis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-669
Number of pages15
JournalThe Ocular Surface
Issue number4
Early online date20 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Demodex
  • Blepharitis
  • Infection
  • Immunology
  • Inflammation
  • Tea tree oil
  • Ivermectin
  • Pilocarpine
  • Metronidazole


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