The association between Staphylococcus aureus colonization on cheek skin at 2 months and subsequent atopic dermatitis in a prospective birth cohort

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Staphylococcus aureus may worsen already established atopic dermatitis (AD), but its primary role in the aetiopathogenesis and severity of AD is unclear.

To compare the prevalence of S. aureus colonization in early infancy in children who developed AD during the first 2 years of life with children who did not.

In this prospective birth cohort study, which included 450 infants, we analysed bacterial swabs collected from cheek skin at 0 and 2 months of age. The development of AD, and its severity, was diagnosed by a physician and monitored prospectively for 2 years. Information on parental atopy, filaggrin gene mutation status and use of antibiotics and emollients was included in the analyses.

At birth, the occurrence of S. aureus colonization was similar in infants who developed subsequent AD and those who did not. At 2 months of age, S. aureus colonization was more common in children who later developed AD (adjusted hazard ratio 1.97, 95% confidence interval 1.21–3.19; P = 0.006). No association was found between S. aureus colonization and AD severity or age at onset.

It remains unknown whether colonization with S. aureus may directly increase the risk of AD, or whether it should be considered as secondary to skin barrier impairment or a skewed immune activity, but according to our findings, S. aureus colonization is more commonly increased at 2 months of age in children who later developed AD.
TidsskriftBritish Journal of Dermatology
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)695-701
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 2023

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The study received financial support from The Lundbeck Foundation, The LEO Foundation, The Novo Nordisk Foundation, Aage Bangs Fond, Savværksejer Jeppe Juhl og hustru Ovita Juhls Mindelegat and Herlev and Gentofte Hospital Research Foundation. The study was conducted independent of these funders and they had no influence on study design or data analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

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