Survey on the prevalence of Dermanyssus gallinae in commercial laying farms in Portugal

Helga Waap*, Telmo Nunes, M.F. Mul, Jacinto Gomes, Kathryn Bartley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Dermanyssus gallinae, also known as the poultry red mite (PRM), is a blood-feeding ectoparasite of poultry and sylvatic birds. This mite is endemic in many parts of the globe and poses a threat to the egg industry, while compromising the health and welfare of hens, both directly and as a vector of diseases. In addition, people attacked by D. gallinae may develop gamasoidosis. Despite the high prevalence in several European countries, epidemiological information on D. gallinae in Portugal is scarce. This study aimed to assess the prevalence and infestation levels in laying farms in Portugal and evaluate the perception and attitudes of producers regarding D. gallinae. A survey was performed between August 2016 – November 2017, which included 24 farms in the NUTS2 regions Centro and Norte. Mites were sampled with corrugated cardboard traps and the perception and attitudes of farmers regarding the PRM were evaluated with the European COREMI questionnaire prepared by WG 1 of the COST action FA1404. D. gallinae was detected in 95.8% of farms (95% CI: 79.8–99.3%). The average number of trapped mites among farms was 5200 ± 16,522, with a median of 359 mites (interquartile range = 46–3135). Results from the questionnaire show that insufficient monitoring, under-detection and late and suboptimal treatment may contribute to the maintenance of significant infestation levels. The present data highlight the need for adequate monitoring of D. gallinae, timely action and effective treatment in order to improve poultry productivity and ensure human and animal health and welfare. RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS A survey on the prevalence of D. gallinae in Portuguese layer farms is presented The perceived importance of D. gallinae was assessed with a questionnaire D. gallinae was detected in 95.8% of farms The results emphasize the need for adequate monitoring and treatment optimization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S2-S9
JournalAvian Pathology
Issue numbersup1
Early online date28 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Dermanyssus gallinae
  • laying farms
  • Portugal
  • poultry red mite
  • prevalence
  • survey


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