Comparative Analysis of Cutaneous Fungi in Atopic Dermatitis Patients and Healthy Individuals

Ann Dermatol. 2022 Apr;34(2):118-124. doi: 10.5021/ad.2022.34.2.118. Epub 2022 Mar 24.


BACKGROUND: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic relapsing inflammatory skin disease triggered by diverse factors. Microbes are one of the crucial risk factors for AD development or exacerbation. However, the effect of a fungal burden on AD has been overlooked compared to bacteria.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to comparatively analyze cutaneous fungal distribution between AD patients and healthy individuals by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based analysis.

METHODS: Skin samples of AD outpatients and healthy individuals collected at the Chung-Ang University were analyzed. Representative AD-associated fungal genera, Candida, dermatophytes, and Malassezia , were analyzed using specific primer and amplification methods. Amplicons were sequenced, and the fungal distribution of both groups were compared.

RESULTS: Totally, 211 patients and 23 healthy individuals were studied. Of the 211 patients, 10.90% (23/211) had Candida species, whereas 0% (0/23) healthy individuals showed its presence. The most frequently detected species in patients was Candida albicans (5.21%) followed by Candida parapsilosis (3.79%). For dermatophytes, 1.42% (3/211) of patients showed positive results, whereas 0% (0/23) healthy individuals showed positive results. Malassezia species were identified in 20.85% (44/211) and 8.70% (2/23) in patients and healthy individuals, respectively. Malassezia restricta was the most frequently identified species in the AD patient group, and the only species found in the healthy control group.

CONCLUSION: The distribution of Candida spp., dermatophytes, and Malassezia spp. are altered with AD development.

PMID:35450318 | PMC:PMC8989898 | DOI:10.5021/ad.2022.34.2.118