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A decade-long study has identified the factor produced by a common type of skin bacteria that causes eczema. This is a breakthrough in our understanding of the disease.

The discovery of a missing limb by an international team led by scientists from Manchester University could lead to new treatments for the sometimes debilitating skin condition that affects 20 to 30% of children.

The main researchers Dr. Peter Arkwright and Dr. Joanne Pennock, both senior scientists at the university, identify the “second immunoglobulin-binding protein” – or “Sbi” – as a unique trigger of eczema from Staphylococcus aureus – also known as the golden staph.

In an article published in the prestigious Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, they show that the type of bacteria is unique in the production of Sbi, which causes allergic inflammation in the skin.

The study, funded by the Leo Foundation, first identifies Sbi as the molecule that induces the rapid release of interleukin-33, a key component of the immune response in childhood eczema.

“Our study shows without a doubt that Sbi is the dominant infectious trigger of eczema and that is incredibly exciting,” said Dr. Arkwright, who is also a pediatric allergy and immunology consultant at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, which is part of the Manchester NHS Foundation Trust.

“Scientists have long known that Staphylococcus aureus is the dominant pathogen on human skin and causes most skin and soft tissue infections worldwide. Only now do we understand that allergic eczema is triggered just because it expresses the predominant virulence factor Sbi. There have been many dead ends and false information, but after many years we finally found the missing link. We are very grateful to Professors Hiroshi Matsuda and Akane Tanaka for their collaboration, which has contributed valuable results to this project. “

The search for the missing link included model studies of mouse eczema conducted by the University of Agriculture and Technology in Tokyo, as well as cell and human skin tissue banking in Manchester.

Scientists also looked at six other types of staph, as well as the common A group strep, which causes tonsillitis and scarlet fever but did not cause allergic reactions.

In every part of the study, the results pointed to Sbi – first discovered in 1998 – as a trigger.

Dr. Pennock of the University of Manchester said, “Our main aim was to understand why Staphylococcus aureus is so uniquely associated with allergic reactions in the skin. The exact mechanism that drives allergic pathology in eczema patients has been a mystery. Staphylococcus aureus expresses many Virulence factors so finding the right protein has been a challenge. We have shown that only golden staph expressing Sbi can cause the allergic skin reaction. Our goal now is to learn more about Sbi to get the basics right We are very grateful to the Leo Foundation for continuing to fund this exciting work. ”

The study shows that babies born in the fall have a higher risk of allergic diseases

More information:
Arwa Al Kindi et al. Staphylococcus aureus Second Immunoglobulin Binding Protein Drives Atopic Dermatitis Via IL-33, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2020). DOI: 10.1016 / j.jaci.2020.09.023 Provided by the University of Manchester

Quote: Researchers identify protein that common skin bacteria use to trigger eczema (2020, October 19), accessed October 19, 2020 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-10-protein-common-skin-bacteria-trigger .html

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