HealthDay News — For children with eczema, Staphylococcus aureus (S aureus) colonization is associated with food sensitization and allergy independent of eczema severity, according to a study published online May 31 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Olympia Tsilochristou, M.D., from King’s College London, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis to examine the correlation of S aureus colonization with specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) production to common food allergens and allergies in early childhood in relation to eczema severity. In the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study, eczema severity was assessed and skin/nasal swabs were cultured for S. aureus. sIgE levels were measured to identify sensitization.

The researchers found that across the LEAP study, there was a significant correlation for skin S aureus colonization with eczema severity; at 12 and 60 months of age, there was a correlation with subsequent eczema deterioration. At any point in time, skin S aureus colonization was associated with elevated levels of hen’s egg white and peanut sIgE, independent of the severity of eczema. At 60 and 72 months of age, participants with S aureus were more likely to have persistent egg allergy and peanut allergy, independent of eczema severity.

S aureus has been implicated in the development and severity of atopic diseases, namely eczema, allergic rhinitis, and asthma; our findings extend these observations to the development of food allergy independent of eczema severity,” the authors write.

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