A study by researchers from National Jewish Health (Denver) suggests that Staphylococcus aureus (S aureus) colonization contributes to systemic allergy and corticosteroid insensitivity. Their study, recently presented at AAAAI 2017, concluded that “S aureus colonization in asthmatics with concomitant atopic dermatitis (AD) is associated with increased IgE responses to environmental allergens, increased eNO, and increased inhaled corticosteroid use.”

Researchers reviewed the patient research database at NJH and found 557 patients (18-years old and under) with a concurrent diagnosis of AD and asthma who had been cultured for S aureus. We queried for total and allergen specific serum IgE levels, positive prick skin tests to inhalant allergens, exhaled nitric oxide (eNO), asthma control test (ACT) scores, and medications prescribed.

According to the results, 82% of subjects (459) had positive S aureus cultures vs 18% (98) with negative cultures. Patients positive for S aureus colonization had significantly higher total serum IgE, percent posi- tive skin prick tests for aero-allergens, and higher eNO.

Asthmatics colonized with S. aureus required a higher daily dose of inhaled corticosteroids despite similar ACT scores.