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Niebuhr M, Scharonow H, Gathmann M et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010;126:1176–83.

Colonization with Staphylococcus aureus is positively correlated with disease severity in patients who have atopic dermatitis. In addition, interleukin-22 (IL-22)-producing cells have also been shown to accumulate in the skin of these patients and are associated with disease severity. Here, the authors investigated IL-22 production in response to S aureus toxins in patients with atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, and found that the toxins prompt the production and secretion of IL-22 in cells isolated from patients with atopic dermatitis but not from those with psoriasis.


Patients with atopic dermatitis are frequently colonized with Staphylococcus aureus, and colonization with these bacteria positively correlates with disease severity [1]. As a pathogenic mechanism, S aureus bacteria produce staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) and α-toxin. Furthermore, the cutaneous micromilieu in patients with atopic dermatitis is characterized by specific mediators of inflammation. Interleukin-22 (IL-22) is a novel cytokine that might play an important role in inflammatory skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis. Indeed, IL-22-producing cells have been shown to accumulate in the skin of patients with atopic dermatitis and to correlate with disease severity [2].

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