Eczema is a condition of the skin mainly characterized by frequent itching and redness. Sometimes it is also confused with other allergies and can occur at any age. Recently, a study over ten years led to the identification of a protein factor from a commonly found bacteria on the skin.
This skin condition usually occurs among children and affects nearly 20 to 30 percent of their population. The latest discovery was made by a team of researchers at the University of Manchester.
The principal investigators in this research were Dr. Joanne Pennock and Dr. Peter Arkwright. Both of them are senior researchers at the University of Manchester.
These scientists led to the identification of a protein called “Sbi” produced by Staphylococcus aureus. This protein serves as a trigger factor of eczema on the skin, according to the researchers.
The findings of the study published recently in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The research paper shows that only this species of skin bacteria can produce Sbi. It leads to inflammation on the skin which causes redness and itching.
The study funded by Leo Foundation found that Sbi stimulates the release of an immune component, Interleukin-33. Dr. Arkwright said that this study positively suggests that Sbi leads to inflammation on the skin or eczema. Meanwhile, this is a huge achievement for the researchers as they filled a gap in this research area.
Dr. Arkwright also mentioned that Staph aureus, commonly known pathogen present on the skin of humans causes infections. Scientists are aware of this commonly existing bacteria on the skin. Also, tt usually leads to infection of the skin or other soft tissues in various regions of the world.
After this study, scientists are aware that this bacteria has pathogenicity due to the virulence factor it releases on the skin. Sbi is a virulence factor which leads to eczema on the skin.
The scientists started their research using an animal model having eczema. The Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology conducted this study using laboratory mouse. The scientists also studied the skin tissue and cells of humans at the University of Manchester for this study.
The researchers involved the other six staphylococci species in this research as well. Also, they studied scarlet fever and tonsillitis causing strep. However, these bacteria did not show any allergies on the skin of the testing model.
Sbi was first discovered as the protein factor in 1988 and the findings of this study show that it is a trigger factor of eczema. Dr. Pennock said that the major target of this research was understanding the role of Staph aureus in skin allergies.
Before this study, scientists were unaware of the pathology mechanism that derives eczema in patients. Since Staph aureus produces several virulent proteins, scientists found it challenging to find the one linked to eczema.
The researchers will now look for developing treatments for eczema in light of this study. The findings of this study will help them develop a non-steroid medication that can help patients suffering from eczema. Meanwhile, it can also revolutionize skincare for people who experience eczema.