Research Summary

Immune, Lipid Biomarkers May Predict Onset of Atopic Dermatitis Among Infants

Anthony Calabro

In a recent study, researchers determined that elevated levels of two biomarkers in newborns—thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and interleukin-13 (IL-13)—could potentially be used as predictors for future onset of atopic dermatitis (AD).

The researchers collaborated with hospitals in Seoul, South Korea to collect stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin) using non-invasive skin tape strips on the forearms of newborns beginning at 2 months of age.

The study included a total of 111 infants aged 2 months with and without family history of skin diseases, which is typically before any signs of clinical AD presents itself. A total of 74 infants were placed in a high-risk for AD group, while 37 infants were in the no risk group. Researchers monitored the infants until they reached 2 years of age and used an immunoassay-based mass spectrometry platform to evaluate the collected skin tape strips.

“Skin tape strips were subjected to lipidomic analyses by the liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry and cytokine determination by Meso Scale Discovery U-Plex assay,” the authors wrote.

The researchers found that 22 out of the 74 (29.7%) infants in the high-risk group developed AD and five out of 37 (13.5%) infants developed AD in the control group. For the infants who developed AD, called the “future atopic dermatitis group”, researchers found that two biomarkers, TSLP and IL-13, had significantly increased levels (by 74.5% and 78.3%, p = .0022 and p < .0001, respectively).

“Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed strong AD predicting power of the combination of family history, type 2 cytokines, and dysregulated lipids, with an odds ratio reaching 54.0,” the authors wrote.

Based on their results, the authors concluded that “non-invasive skin tape strip analysis at 2 months of age can identify asymptomatic children at risk of future atopic dermatitis development with a high probability.”

Want more insight on this research? Check out this video interview with lead author, Evgeny Berdyshev, PhD.


Berdyshev E, Kim J, Kim BE, et al. Stratum corneum lipid and cytokine biomarkers at two months of age predict the future onset of atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. Published online February 23, 2023. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2023.02.013.