What is it about?

Staphylococcus aureus is a bacteria commonly found on skin, which is significantly associated with eczema. Until now it wasn't clear if this association was responsible for causing the eczema, or as a result of the inflamed skin. Here we show that a small molecule released by the bacteria can actually cause the skin changes that we see in patients.

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Why is it important?

This is exciting because it helps us understand the link between the presence of this bacteria in eczema patients and the disease. It suggests that the bacteria itself could be making the disease worse through interaction of this molecule with skin cells. This molecule provides us with a new therapeutic target to try and help reduce the flares seen in eczema.


For many years, eczema has been considered a condition associated with allergy. Scientifically, allergy is associated with the release of histamine and specific antibodies, but drugs that stop either of these do not work for all patients. We are suggesting that by stopping the interaction of this bacterial molecule with skin cells, we may be able to help stop the eczema cycle and really make a difference to patients.

Dr Jo Pennock
University of Manchester

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Staphylococcus aureus second immunoglobulin-binding protein drives atopic dermatitis via IL-33, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, April 2021, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2020.09.023.
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