Staphylococcal infection attributes to itchy eczema skin

In the latest research done by the University of Michigan (U-M), it has been seen that there could be a connection between staph infections and eczema. This research was done on animals and it was found that there could be some molecule from bacteria that may play a major role in leading to inflammation of one’s skin. As such these bacteria could be targeted for treatment as well.

The problem with eczema

There are millions of people in this world who suffer from eczema, a skin condition where said organ turns highly red and unbearably itchy. The only thing that is even worse than their situation is the general lack of understanding regarding the disease – what are the factors that lead to it.
People do not understand why it keeps flaring every now and then. The scientific name of eczema is atopic dermatitis.

The new finding

This new finding by the researchers of the University of Michigan Medical School could make some breakthrough in this regard and enable people to have a better understanding of the condition on the whole. This, in turn, could lead to improvement in treatments for the same.

Paper brought out in Nature

The team of researchers has recently brought out a paper at the online edition of the famed Nature magazine, whereby it has reported that the main culprit, in this case, is a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus.
This bacterium is referred to more popularly as staph. It is a common bacterium and produces a toxin that basically leads to the cells in your immune system to react in such a way that rashes – as seen in the case of eczema – are produced on your skin.

Delta toxin

This toxin is also referred to in medical parlance as delta toxin. When it is released it leads your mast cells, which are related to your allergy, to release small granules that can lead to inflammation.
In the test, it was seen that this was not the case when the skins of the mice – the test subjects in this case – were exposed to staph strains that did not have the gene to produce the delta toxin.

Degranulation and what does it show?

In the paper, it was said that the process whereby the mast cells produced small granules was referred to as degranulation. The result of the test shows very clearly that there is a certain mechanism that connects degranulation to mast cells and the staph bacterium with the delta toxin gene.
As far as Gabriel Nunez, MD, and professor at U-M, is concerned this, however, is not enough to suggest that delta toxin is the single biggest factor when it comes to leading staph bacteria to cause eczema. He says that genetically too one can be vulnerable to such conditions. The professor also says that the finding is restricted to only mice and as such it is a bit too early to say that the same would happen to humans as well. However, it also needs to be mentioned in this context that researchers have found significant amounts of staph delta toxin in skin samples they have taken from patients who are suffering from eczema.

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