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Superantigens and adhesins of infant gut commensal Staphylococcus aureus strains and association with subsequent development of atopic eczema.

Journal article
Authors Forough Nowrouzian
G. Lina
E Hodille
Erika Lindberg
Bill Hesselmar
Robert Saalman
Ingegerd Adlerberth
Agnes E Wold
Published in The British journal of dermatology
Volume 176
Issue 2
Pages 439–445
ISSN 1365-2133
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 439–445
Language en
Subject categories Microbiology, Dermatology and Venereal Diseases, Allergology


According to the hygiene hypothesis, insufficient immune activation by microbes increases the risk of allergy development. Staphylococcus aureus, which is part of the skin and gut microbiota of infants in Western countries, produces a variety of T-cell-activating enterotoxins, called superantigens.To investigate whether early (0-2 months of age) gut colonization by S. aureus strains that carry specific superantigens and adhesins was related to subsequent development of atopic eczema in a Swedish birth cohort.Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from rectal swabs and cultured quantitatively from faecal samples, with individual strains being tested for carriage of genes for superantigens and adhesins. Atopic eczema was diagnosed at onset of symptoms and at 18 months of age.Although the frequency of early gut colonization by S. aureus was not related to subsequent eczema development, the S. aureus strains that were found to colonize those infants who developed atopic eczema were less likely to carry the gene encoding the superantigen SElM (P = 0·008) and the gene for elastin-binding protein (P = 0·03), compared with strains that were isolated from infants who had not developed atopic eczema by 18 months of age.Gut colonization by S. aureus strains carrying a certain combination of superantigen and adhesin genes was negatively associated with subsequent development of atopic eczema. Such strains may provide stimulation and promote maturation of the infant immune system.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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