Skin Microbiome Differences in Atopic Dermatitis and Healthy Controls in Egyptian Children and Adults, and Association with Serum Immunoglobulin E

OMICS. 2019 May;23(5):247-260. doi: 10.1089/omi.2019.0011.


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a complex, multifactorial, chronic pruritic inflammatory skin disease. We report the first microbiome study and new insights on the relationship between skin microbiota variation and AD susceptibility in a population sample from Egypt. We characterized the skin microbiome in 75 patients with AD and 20 healthy controls using Illumina MiSeq sequencing of 16S rRNA gene. Overall, bacterial diversity of skin microbiome in patients with AD was less than those of the healthy subjects. Genus level analysis revealed significant abundance variations by age, disease severity, locality, or immune response. Among these genera, Streptococcus, Cutibacterium, and Corynebacterium appeared to be specific signatures for AD in children, adolescents, and adults, respectively, while Staphylococcus was noted as a potential biomarker candidate for AD. Additionally, functional potential of metagenomes shifted the overall metabolic pathways to participate in the exacerbation of disease. Total immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels were positively correlated with relative enrichment of certain Staphylococcus aureus subspecies. Finally, AD-related differences in skin bacterial diversity appeared to be in part linked to the serum IgE level. These new observations attest to the promise of microbiome science and metagenomic analysis in AD specifically, and clinical dermatology broadly.

Keywords: Egypt; atopic dermatitis; biomarkers; metagenomics; microbiome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Corynebacterium / genetics
  • Corynebacterium / isolation & purification
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / blood*
  • Egypt
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood*
  • Male
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Skin / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Young Adult


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Immunoglobulin E