Viral lnfections in Atopic Dermatitis
Örjan Strannegård, Inga-Lisa Strannegård, Ingela Rystedt
In a study of almost 1000 patients with past or present atopic dermatitis (AD) it was found that histories of recurrent (greater than 5 episodes/year) cold sores and upper respiratory infections, as well as histories of zoster were significantly more common in AD patients than in non-atopic controls. Serological studies revealed that AD patients have clearly elevated titers of antibodies against Epstein-Barr virus. These findings suggest that the increased susceptibility to viral infections in AD is due to immune dysfunction rather than to cutaneous alterations which are associated with the disease. The mechanisms underlying the increased susceptibility to infections may be related to immunological aberrations that are secondary to a basic abnormality in the fatty acid or cyclic AMP metabolism.