Microbiomic signatures of psoriasis: feasibility and methodology comparison

Sci Rep. 2013:3:2620. doi: 10.1038/srep02620.


Psoriasis is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the skin. We sought to use bacterial community abundance data to assess the feasibility of developing multivariate molecular signatures for differentiation of cutaneous psoriatic lesions, clinically unaffected contralateral skin from psoriatic patients, and similar cutaneous loci in matched healthy control subjects. Using 16S rRNA high-throughput DNA sequencing, we assayed the cutaneous microbiome for 51 such matched specimen triplets including subjects of both genders, different age groups, ethnicities and multiple body sites. None of the subjects had recently received relevant treatments or antibiotics. We found that molecular signatures for the diagnosis of psoriasis result in significant accuracy ranging from 0.75 to 0.89 AUC, depending on the classification task. We also found a significant effect of DNA sequencing and downstream analysis protocols on the accuracy of molecular signatures. Our results demonstrate that it is feasible to develop accurate molecular signatures for the diagnosis of psoriasis from microbiomic data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Metagenome*
  • Microbiota*
  • Psoriasis / diagnosis
  • Psoriasis / microbiology*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S