The Atopic Dermatitis Research Network (ADRN), sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is a consortium of academic medical centers seeking to better understand why people with atopic dermatitis (AD) experience more skin infections. The consortium is currently conducting clinical research studies that focus on bacterial skin infections associated with AD, particularly Staphylococcus aureus infections.
In the Atopic Dermatitis Vaccinia Network (ADVN) (2004-2009), precursor to the ADRN, the consortium investigators studied a group of individuals with both AD and a history of eczema herpeticum (eczema along with a widespread herpes simplex skin infection). Several important insights emerged and include the following:
There is a close relationship between AD and a skin barrier defect
Atopic individuals produce proteins in their skin that result in reduced expression of key skin barrier protein called filaggrin
Atopic dermatitis individuals who get eczema herpeticum have lower levels of naturally occurring antibiotics (antimicrobial peptides) and higher levels of the allergic marker in the blood called IgE, than those with AD alone
These same individuals are more reactive to a number of environmental allergens and more likely to report a history of other atopic disorders such as asthma or food allergy
Atopic dermatitis individuals who get eczema herpeticum also report more bacterial skin infections needing prescription systemic antibiotics
Genetic markers have been identified that are different in AD individuals who get eczema herpeticum and those who do not get this viral skin infection, and healthy individuals without atopy. The genes identified to date:
Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP)
If you are interested in these studies, you may call the center nearest you, e-mail ADRN@njhealth.org, or call our toll-free number 888.413.5852.
National Jewish Health (lead site) Denver, Colorado ADRN Clinical Coordinator – 303.398.1409 ADRN@njhealth.org
University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester, New York ADRN Clinical Coordinator – 585.275.0374 ADRN@URMC.Rochester.edu
Oregon Health and Science University Portland, Oregon ADRN Clinical Coordinator – 503.228.7350 ADRN@ohsu.edu
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Los Angeles, California ADRN Clinical Coordinator – 323.361.4537 ADRN@chla.usc.edu
This project has been funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under contract no: HHSN272201000020