The Role of Staphylococcus aureus in Secondary Infections in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis (AD)
Aneta Buda, Jacek Międzobrodzki Pol J Microbiol 2016; 65 (3): ICID: 1215600 Article type: Review article IC™ Value: 8.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
Staphylococcus aureus colonizes the mucous membrane of the nasal vestibule of a significant number of healthy people. These microorganisms are opportunistic pathogens, that in favorable conditions, may cause infections of various course, location or manifestation. Secondary infections emerge in cases when other risk factors contribute to such a change. One of the diseases during which S. aureus changes its saprophytic character to a pathogenic one is atopic dermatitis (AD), an allergic skin condition of a chronic and recurrent nature. Patients with AD are highly predisposed to secondary staphylococcal infections due to active S. aureus colonization of the stratum corneum, damage of the skin barrier or a defective immune response. Microorganisms present in skin lesions destroy the tissue by secreting enzymes and toxins, and additionally stimulate secondary allergic reactions. The toxins secreted by strains of S. aureus also act as superantigens and penetrate the skin barrier contributing to a chronic inflammation of the atopic skin lesions. The S. aureus species also releases proinflammatory proteins, including enzymes that cause tissue damage. When initiating treatment it is particularly important to properly assess that the onset of the secondary bacterial infection is caused by S. aureus and thus justifying the inclusion of antibiotic therapy. Depending on the severity and extent of the staphylococcal infection, topical antibiotics are used, usually mupirocin or fusidic acid, or general antibiotic treatment is introduced. Another therapeutic strategy without antibiotics has given a positive effect in patients.