Background: An altered immune response against Staphylococcus aureus might contribute to inflammation and barrier damage in atopic dermatitis (AD). Objectives: To profile IgG antibodies against 55 S. aureus antigens in sera of children with mild-to-severe AD and to evaluate the association between IgG levels and disease severity. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we included children with AD from two interventional study cohorts, the Shared Medical Appointment (SMA) cohort (n = 131) and the older DAVOS cohort (n = 76). AD severity was assessed using the Self-Administered Eczema Area and Severity Index (SA-EASI) and levels of thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) in serum. IgG antibody levels against 55 S. aureus antigens were quantified simultaneously using a Luminex assay. Pair-wise correlations were calculated between the 55 IgG levels using the Spearman rank correlation test. Linear regression analysis was performed to test for associations between 55 IgG levels and SA-EASI and TARC, adjusting for age, sex and S. aureus colonization. Results: In the SMA cohort, 16 antigens were associated with SA-EASI and 12 with TARC (10 overlapping antigens; P-values 0·001–0·044). The associated IgG antibodies targeted mainly secreted proteins with immunomodulatory functions. In the DAVOS study, IgG levels against only four and one S. aureus antigen(s) were associated with SA-EASI and TARC, respectively (no overlap). Conclusions: In young children, severity of AD is associated with an IgG response directed against S. aureus antigens with mainly immunomodulatory functions. These findings encourage further evaluation of the role of S. aureus in the pathogenesis of AD.

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Journal British Journal of Dermatology
Totté, J.E.E, Pardo Cortes, L.M, Fieten, K.B, de Wit, J. (J.), de Boer, D.V. (D. V.), van Wamel, W.J.B, & Pasmans, S.G.M.A. (2018). IgG response against Staphylococcus aureus is associated with severe atopic dermatitis in children. British Journal of Dermatology, 179(1), 118–126. doi:10.1111/bjd.16153