Cookie Notice

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Review our cookies information for more details.

skip to main content

Early-Life Skin Microbiome and Metabolome Signatures Could Predict Atopic Dermatitis in Infants

AAAAI News Release

February 5, 2024

Candace Archie, Communications & Public Relations Manager
(414) 272-6071

New research shows identifiable bacterial species in the skin microbiota of infants can lead to early detection of atopic dermatitis.

MILWAUKEE – Early skin microbiome and metabolome signatures can be predictive of atopic dermatitis in infants aged 6 to 18 months old according to new research being presented at the 2024 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting.
“The Singapore Preconception Study of Long-Term Maternal and Child Outcomes (S-PRESTO) mother-offspring cohort profiled bacterial metagenomics, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) longitudinally in infants from birth till 18 months of age. We found that distinct skin microbiota, NMF and AMP signatures in early life predicted atopic dermatitis by 18 months of age, indicating their potential role as predictive markers in identifying infants at risk of atopic dermatitis” said primary author Elizabeth Tham, MBBS.  
According to new research, whole metagenomic sequencing, antimicrobial peptides and profiling of natural moisturizing factors were performed from skin tape strips collected from infants periodically from day 7 to 18 months of life. The children were then assessed for symptoms of atopic dermatitis at age 6 and 18 months by trained physicians. The rates of atopic dermatitis were 30.8% in 6-month-old children and 20.8% at 18 months of age.

The composition of early life skin microbiota in infants who later developed atopic dermatitis was predominantly driven by the enrichment of specific, identifiable bacterial species as early as week 1 and month 3 of life. This bacterial signature was linked with lower levels of natural moisturizing factors and higher antimicrobial peptide levels in early life. Similarly, different atopic dermatitis trajectories, including early onset transient, early onset persistent and late onset, were associated with distinct signatures of skin microbiota, natural moisturizing factors and antimicrobial peptides in early life.
The findings suggest that strategies for prevention of atopic dermatitis may be possible through identifying high-risk infants in the pre-disease stage with the help of skin biomarkers. These predictive biomarkers aid in identifying high-risk infants who may benefit from targeted strategies in early life for atopic dermatitis prevention. This novel predictive modeling of early life skin biomarker signatures can provide valuable insights into the diagnosis and prevention of atopic dermatitis.  

Visit to learn more about atopic dermatitis. Research presented at the 2024 AAAAI Annual Meeting, February 23-26 in Washington, DC, is published in an online supplement to The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) is the leading membership organization of more than 7,100 allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and other professionals with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more than 7,100 members in the United States, Canada and 72 other countries and is the go-to resource for patients living with allergies, asthma and immune deficiency disorders.