Research Summary

Severe Atopic Dermatitis Associated With a Pronounced Dysbiosis of the Microbiota

According to a study published in The Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, pronounced dysbiosis of the microbiota with increased fungal diversity is linked to severe atopic dermatitis (AD).

Researchers aimed to connect the fungal skin microbiota, the mycobiota, in AD to bacterial colonization. They conducted skin swabs of 16 AD patients and 16 healthy controls (HC) from 4 skin sites (antecubital crease, dorsal neck, glabella, and vertex) in order to analyze the DNA sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer region 1 (ITS1) and 16S rRNA gene for fungi and bacteria.

The results showed that the predominant fungi in all subjects was malassezia spp.; however, there was a decrease dominance in patients with severe AD. Researchers also noted that there was a decrease of Cutibacterium spp. in patients with AD in favor of Staphylococcus spp., such as S. aureus. Finally, the results showed that the bacterial and fungal community compositions of patients with severe AD greatly differed from patients with mild-to-moderate AD and HC both of whom had similar microbiota with some distinctions in bacterial communities.

Researchers concluded that, “Potentially infectious agents, e.g. Staphylococcus and Candida, were increased in severe AD.”


—Jessica Garlewicz


Schmid B, Künstner A, Fähnrich A, et al. Dysbiosis of skin microbiota with increased fungal diversity is associated with severity of disease in atopic dermatitis. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. Published online June 21, 2022. doi:10.1111/jdv.18347