Allergy Asthma Respir Dis.  2017 Jul;5(4):193-199. 10.4168/aard.2017.5.4.193.

The association between Staphylococcus aureus colonization and food sensitization in children with atopic dermatitis

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Busan St. Mary's Hospital, Busan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Busan St. Mary's Hospital, Busan, Korea.


Atopic dermatitis is often accompanied by food allergies which occur through skin barrier defects. Especially Staphylococcus aureus colonization can exacerbate skin barrier defects that cause sensitization and increase specific IgE (sIgE) to food. We investigated the association between skin colonization and food sIgE changes in children with atopic dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis was diagnosed by a pediatric allergist in patients between 3 months and 3 years of age. Total IgE and sIgE to egg white, cow's milk, wheat, and peanuts were taken. Eosinophil count and eosinophil cationic protein were also taken. Comparisons were done between the groups with and without S. aureus colonization.
It was found that 50.3% of the 294 enrolled patients had S. aureus colonization on lesional skin. Statistically significant sensitization to wheat and peanut were increased with S. aureus colonization. Statistically significant increases in sIgE (above cutoff level) were also found in egg white, milk, wheat and peanut. Higher S. aureus colony counts also increased sIgE of all foods. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus showed no statistical difference compared to methicillin-susceptible S. aureus in severity and sIgE levels.
S. aureus colonization increases the risk of food sensitization in children with atopic dermatitis.


Atopic dermatitis; Food allergy; Staphylococcus aureus
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