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Atopic Dermatitis Research Network

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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:
    • Filaggrin (FLG)
    • Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP)

ADRN Sites

If you are interested in these studies, you may call the center nearest you, e-mail, or call our toll-free number 888.413.5852.

National Jewish Health (lead site)
Denver, Colorado
ADRN Clinical Coordinator – 303.398.1409

University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester, New York
ADRN Clinical Coordinator – 585.275.0374

Oregon Health and Science University
Portland, Oregon
ADRN Clinical Coordinator – 503.228.7350

Boston Children’s Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts
ADRN Clinical Coordinator – 617.355.4344

Northwestern University/Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
ADRN Clinical Coordinator – 312.227.6484

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
ADRN Clinical Coordinator – 323.361.4537


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