- "We yet do not know the exact mechanisms that lead from atopic dermatitis to food allergy however, our results suggest that Staphylococcus aureus could be an important factor contributing to this outcome," says Dr Olympia Tsilochristou, the leading author of this paper. This study presents results from an exploratory secondary analysis of data from the groundbreaking Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study Professor Lack has been leading at King's College London. The authors demonstrated that children with severe atopic dermatitis (AD) and/or egg allergy who had skin colonization with S. aureus had higher sIgE values against peanut and egg white as opposed to those who were never colonized with S. aureus. Of note, these results were independent of AD severity.
Additionally, it was shown that children with skin and/or nasal S. aureus colonization were more likely to have their egg allergy persist until the age of 5 or 6 years. This is important as most children with egg allergy typically outgrow this allergy by these time points. Interestingly, the authors also reported that children with skin and/or nasal S. aureus had higher odds ratio to develop peanut allergy despite the fact that they were fed peanut from their entry in the study. These results were independent of AD severity too.
"The role of S. aureus should be considered in future studies aimed at inducing and maintaining tolerance to food allergens in infants with AD," said Professor du Toit, co-author of this article and leading author of previous LEAP publications. Professor Lack concluded by highlighting that "Further prospective longitudinal studies measuring S. aureus with more advanced techniques and interventional studies eradicating S. aureus in early infancy will help elucidate its role in the development of AD or food allergy."
These study results are important as the analysis was made by correcting for AD severity. Previous findings in the literature that S. aureus colonization in AD is associated with food sensitization and allergy may have been confounded by AD severity. S. aureus has been implicated in the development and severity of atopic diseases namely AD, allergic rhinitis and asthma and the findings presented today during the Presidential Symposium extend these observations to the development of food allergy, independent of AD severity.
EAACI would like to take the opportunity to highlight the dynamics of the new generation of allergists within its membership. Dr Olympia Tsilochristou, based at King's College London, has been an active Junior Member of the Academy and was once awarded an EAACI Clinical Fellowship.
The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) is a non-profit organisation, active in the fields of allergic and immunologic diseases such as asthma, rhinitis, eczema, occupational allergy, food and drug allergy, and anaphylaxis. EAACI was founded in 1956 in Florence, Italy and has become the largest medical association in Europe in the field of allergy and clinical immunology. It includes over 10'000 members from 122 countries, as well as over 60 national and international member societies.
Over the past 63 years, EAACI has dedicated its resources to improving the health of people affected by allergic diseases and asthma. With experience and knowledge in allergy science, EAACI is the primary source of expertise in Europe and beyond for all aspects of allergic diseases and asthma.