Patients with atopic dermatitis are at an increased risk of Staphylococcus aureus colonization of both their lesional and nonlesional skin, as well as their nose, compared with healthy controls, according to a report in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Dr. J.E.E. Totté of the department of dermatology at the Erasmus MC University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, and associates conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to derive pooled estimates of the prevalence and odds of colonization with S. aureus in patients with atopic dermatitis. They focused on original, human experimental, and observational studies including patients of any age with a confirmed diagnosis of atopic dermatitis (Br J Dermatol. 2016 Mar 19. doi: 10.1111/bjd.14566).

Dr. Totté and colleagues identified a total of 4,909 articles, of which 95 were found to meet the study inclusion criteria. All of the included studies were observational, with 30 comparing atopic dermatitis patients with healthy controls.

Almost three-quarters (70%) of patients had S. aureus colonization of lesional skin, while 39% had colonization of nonlesional skin, based on 81 studies including 5,231 patients and 30 studies including 1,496 patients, respectively. Nasal colonization was found in 62% of patients, based on analysis of 43 studies including 2,476 patients.

S. aureus colonization is an important factor in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis and should lead to evaluations of targeted antistaphylococcal therapy for the skin and nose, the investigators advised.

The authors reported that the department of dermatology of the Erasmus MC University Medical Centre Rotterdam received an unrestricted grant from Micreos Human Health. Two coauthors disclosed ties to industry sources.