Last-itch effort: Fighting the bacteria that exacerbate eczema with bacteria

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In a new study out of University of California San Diego School of Medicine, researchers have identified a universal strain of bacteria derived from healthy human skin that can treat the most common type of eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis.

In the paper published Feb. 22, 2021, in Nature Medicine, the research team investigated the safety and mechanisms of this certain bacteria in a first-in-human, Phase I, double-blinded clinical trial looking to treat people living with eczema. Of the 54 participants, two-thirds reported improvements in their symptoms, including fewer complaints of itchiness and inflammation.

“The main question we wanted to answer was if this was safe. This was a safety study,” said Richard Gallo, MD, PhD, Ima Gigli Distinguished Professor of Dermatology and chair of the Department of Dermatology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “We found exactly what we hoped to find. The eczema of participants who received the bacterial treatment improved and there were no adverse events.”

Researchers screened more than 8,000 isolates of Staphylococcal bacteria derived from the skin of individuals without eczema, and identified a few strains that inhibited growth of Staphylococcal aureus, a pathogenic bacterium that aggravates skin conditions, such as eczema…

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