Skin microbiome before development of atopic dermatitis: Early colonization with commensal staphylococci at 2 months is associated with a lower risk of atopic dermatitis at 1 year

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study design
PMID PubMed identifier for scientific articles.
DOI Digital object identifier for electronic documents.
URI Uniform resource identifier for web resources.
Kennedy EA, Connolly J, Hourihane JO, Fallon PG, McLean WHI, Murray D, Jo JH, Segre JA, Kong HH, Irvine AD
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
BACKGROUND: Disease flares of established atopic dermatitis (AD) are generally associated with a low-diversity skin microbiota and Staphylococcus aureus dominance. The temporal transition of the skin microbiome between early infancy and the dysbiosis of established AD is unknown. METHODS: We randomly selected 50 children from the Cork Babies After SCOPE: Evaluating the Longitudinal Impact Using Neurological and Nutritional Endpoints (BASELINE) longitudinal birth cohort for microbiome sampling at 3 points in the first 6 months of life at 4 skin sites relevant to AD: the antecubital and popliteal fossae, nasal tip, and cheek. We identified 10 infants with AD and compared them with 10 randomly selected control infants with no AD. We performed bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing and analysis directly from clinical samples. RESULTS: Bacterial community structures and diversity shifted over time, suggesting that age strongly affects the skin microbiome in infants. Unlike established AD, these patients with infantile AD did not have noticeably dysbiotic communities before or with disease and were not colonized by S aureus. In comparing patients and control subjects, infants who had affected skin at month 12 had statistically significant differences in bacterial communities on the antecubital fossa at month 2 compared with infants who were unaffected at month 12. In particular, commensal staphylococci were significantly less abundant in infants affected at month 12, suggesting that this genus might protect against the later development of AD. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that 12-month-old infants with AD were not colonized with S aureus before having AD. Additional studies are needed to confirm whether colonization with commensal staphylococci modulates skin immunity and attenuates development of AD.

Experiment 1

Needs review

Curated date: 2021/01/10

Curator: WikiWorks743

Revision editor(s): WikiWorks753, WikiWorks743


Location of subjects
Host species Species from which microbiome was sampled (if applicable)
Homo sapiens
Body site Anatomical site where microbial samples were extracted from according to the Uber Anatomy Ontology
Skin of forearm Forearm skin,Lower arm skin,Lower segment of arm skin,Skin of antebrachial region,Skin of lower arm,Skin of lower segment of arm,Skin of zeugopod of arm,Skin of forearm
Condition The experimental condition / phenotype studied according to the Experimental Factor Ontology
atopic eczema allergic,allergic dermatitis,allergic form of dermatitis,Atopic Dermatitides,Atopic Dermatitis,Atopic dermatitis,atopic dermatitis and related conditions,Atopic dermatitis and related conditions (disorder),atopic eczema,Atopic Neurodermatitides,Atopic Neurodermatitis,Atopic neurodermatitis,Besnier's prurigo,Dermatitides, Atopic,Dermatitis, Atopic,Disseminated Neurodermatitides,Disseminated Neurodermatitis,eczema,Eczema, Atopic,Eczema, Infantile,eczematous dermatitis,Infantile Eczema,Neurodermatitides, Atopic,Neurodermatitides, Disseminated,Neurodermatitis, Atopic,Neurodermatitis, Disseminated,OTHER ATOPIC DERMATITIS,Other atopic dermatitis and related conditions
Group 0 name Corresponds to the control (unexposed) group for case-control studies
healthy control
Group 1 name Corresponds to the case (exposed) group for case-control studies
atopic dermatitis
Group 1 definition Diagnostic criteria applied to define the specific condition / phenotype represented in the case (exposed) group
child with atopic dermatis at month 12 diagnosed by experienced health care personnel using the UK Working Party Diagnostic Criteria
Group 0 sample size Number of subjects in the control (unexposed) group
Group 1 sample size Number of subjects in the case (exposed) group

Lab analysis

Sequencing type
16S variable region One or more hypervariable region(s) of the bacterial 16S gene
Sequencing platform Manufacturer and experimental platform used for quantifying microbial abundance

Statistical Analysis

Statistical test
Mann-Whitney (Wilcoxon)
Significance threshold p-value or FDR threshold used for differential abundance testing (if any)
MHT correction Have statistical tests be corrected for multiple hypothesis testing (MHT)?

Alpha Diversity

Shannon Estimator of species richness and species evenness: more weight on species richness

Signature 1

Needs review

Curated date: 2020-09-21

Curator: Lucy Mellor

Revision editor(s): WikiWorks743

Source: Figure 4b

Description: Relative abundance of major taxa in antecubital fossa at month 2 between subjects that went on to be affected with atopic dermatits at month 12 and those who went on to be unaffected

Abundance in Group 1: decreased abundance in atopic dermatitis

NCBI Links

Revision editor(s): WikiWorks743