Aim: To evaluate the effect of oral Escherichia coli (E. coli) Nissle application on the outcome of intestinal-borne dermatoses.
Methods: In a randomized, controlled, non-blinded prospective clinical trial 82 patients with intestinal-borne facial dermatoses characterized by an erythematous papular-pustular rash were screened. At the initiation visit 37 patients entered the experimental arm and 20 patients constituted the control arm. All 57 patients were treated with a vegetarian diet and conventional topical therapy of the dermatoses with ointments containing tetracycline, steroids and retinoids. In the experimental arm patients received a one month therapy with oral E. coli Nissle at a maintenance dose of 2 capsules daily. The experimental group was compared to a non-treatment group only receiving the diet and topical therapy. The primary outcome parameter was improvement of the dermatoses, secondary parameters included life quality and adverse events. In addition the immunological reaction profile (IgA, interleucin-8 and interferon-α) was determined. Furthermore the changes of stool consistency and the microbiota composition over the time of intervention were recorded.
Results: Eighty-nine percent of the patients with acne, papular-pustular rosacea and seborrhoic dermatitis responded to E. coli Nissle therapy with significant amelioration or complete recovery in contrast to 56% in the control arm (P < 0.01). Accordingly, in the E. coli Nissle treated patients life quality improved significantly (P < 0.01), and adverse events were not recorded. The clinical improvement was associated with a significant increase of IgA levels to normal values in serum as well as suppression of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-8 (P < 0.01 for both parameters). In the E. coli Nissle treated group a shift towards a protective microbiota with predominance of bifidobacteria and lactobacteria (> 10(7) CFU/g stool) was observed in 79% and 63% of the patients, respectively (P < 0.01), compared to no change in the control group without E. coli Nissle. Moreover, the detection rate of a pathogenic flora dropped from 73% to 14 % of the patients in the experimental arm (P < 0.01) with no significant change in the control arm (accounting 80% before and 70% after the observation period, P > 0.05). Accordingly, stool consistency, color and smell normalized in the E. coli Nissle treated patients.
Conclusion: E. coli Nissle protects the mucus barrier by overgrowth of a favorable gut microbiota with less immunoreactive potential which finally leads to clinical improvement of intestinal borne dermatoses.
Keywords: Escherichia coli Nissle 1917; Gut microbiota; IgA; Immunological response; Interferon-α; Interleukin-8; Intestinal-borne dermatoses.