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★One Health Relay Report #14★


About "Poultry Red Mites"


 Profile #14: Dr. Shiro MURATA, Assistant Professor

 Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, Department of Disease Control

 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine


【Research Topics】

 Development of novel strategies to control poultry red mites




~Poultry Red Mites~


Fipronil* scandal: In 2017, millions of eggs were recalled from the food supply chain across the European Union. This incident was caused by the illegal use of a prohibited drug, fipronil, which resulted in the large-scale withdrawal of potentially contaminated eggs. The scandal was set off by small mites less than 1 mm in length.


Poultry red mites (PRMs), which are blood-sucking ectoparasites, adversely affect egg production and quality and are a serious threat to the poultry industry. It is difficult to eradicate PRMs in poultry farms by cleaning or by using commonly available pesticides because of the following characteristic properties of PRMs: The first is that PRMs basically come out at night for a blood feed and hide in cracks and crevices during the day, which makes it very hard to find them. Therefore, if PRMs can be located on a farm during the daytime, it implies serious infestation. The other is the acquisition of drug resistance, which can vary depending on the farm. The nature of PRMs makes it challenging to control them, and the resulting problems triggered the fipronil scandal. Currently, there is a need for new strategies to control PRMs.


The goal of our study is to develop novel strategies to control PRMs. We further investigated the prevalence of PRMs and similar mites in poultry farms in several countries. Through these studies, we aim to help poultry farmers who are in urgent need of solutions.


*Fipronil is an insecticide that is not approved for use in animals intended for the food chain.




  PRMs collected from the farms     Investigation of the prevalence of chicken mites in poultry farms


 Investigation of the prevalence of chicken mites in Myanmar