Biomarkers linked with the development of comorbidities in people with atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common chronic skin disease. In high-income countries it affects up to 20% of children/adolescents and 10% of adults. About one-third of people with AD develop asthma, hay fever, and/or food allergies, but we do not know why. Currently, we cannot predict who might develop these associated conditions (comorbidities).
Biomarkers are measurements of the body, e.g., molecules in blood, skin and genetic testing. Biomarkers can be used to diagnose diseases, or measure how severe a disease is. Some biomarkers can also be linked to the likelihood of developing diseases.
Our aim was to review the available scientific literature on AD and biomarkers that are linked to developing asthma, allergies, food allergies or other diseases. This is important for future research, and may give clues to prevent those diseases in people with AD.
We conducted an extensive literature search and found 56 studies that reported on AD and such biomarkers. In total 146 candidate biomarkers were evaluated. Most often described biomarkers were antibodies against specific allergens (s-IgE), and a genetic change that can cause dry skin (filaggrin mutation).
We carefully examined the studies and their results. We found that many studies had shortcomings. For instance that they measured and reported their findings in various ways, which made comparison difficult. In addition, the reported findings were overall inconsistent.
We concluded that high-quality studies assessing biomarkers linked with the development of comorbidities in people with AD are lacking. Therefore better studies are urgently needed.
Related publication: Biomarkers associated with the development of comorbidities in patients with atopic dermatitis: A systematic review. Conor Broderick, Stefanie Ziehfreund, Karin van Bart, Bernd Arents, Kilian Eyerich, Stephan Weidinger, Joseph Rastrick, Alexander Zink, Carsten Flohr, BIOMAP Consortium. Allergy, the official journal of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), doi: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/all.15578