Propionibacterium acnes Abundance Correlates Inversely with Staphylococcus aureus: Data from Atopic Dermatitis Skin Microbiome
Wojciech Francuzik, Kristin Franke, Ralf R. Schumann, Guido Heine, Margitta Worm
The microbiome may influence disease severity in atopic dermatitis. The skin of atopic dermatitis patients and healthy individuals was sampled in a standardized manner and the microbial composition analysed using next-generation sequencing. Optical density measurements were used to investigate bacterial growth under defined conditions in vitro. Lesional skin from patients with atopic dermatitis had a higher abundance of Staphylococcus aureus and reduced quantities of Propionibacterium acnes and Lawsonella clevelandensis compared with non-lesional skin. The abundance of P. acnes correlated negatively with that of S. aureus (ρ= –0.6501, p < 0.0001). Fermentation products of P. acnes inhibited the growth of S. aureus and S. epidermidis. Serum from patients with atopic dermatitis inhibited the growth of S. aureus to a greater extent than did serum from healthy individuals. These results suggest that selective modification of the skin microbiome could potentially be used as a therapeutic strategy in atopic dermatitis.