A study was conducted to compare the Staphylococcus aureus skin colonization of 21 patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) and 22 healthy controls. It was found that the total aerobe count (total CFU/cm2), the S. aureus fraction thereof and the S. aureus carrier frequency were significantly higher in apparently normal skin of AD patients than in healthy individuals. In addition, compared to normal skin of patients S. aureus density was 100 to 1,000 times higher in the 3 different kinds of lesional skin (dermatitic, lichenified and impetiginized sites). 190 S. aureus strains isolated from the skin of AD patients were tested for sensitivity to 5 topically used antibiotics and the results reported. Besides the biological consequences for the person affected by AD this severe colonization with S. aureus is of epidemiological importance. Several outbreaks of S. aureus infections by dispersal from dermatitic skin have been described. Therefore some preventive and therapeutic aspects are discussed.
Hauser C, Wuethrich B, Matter L, Wilhelm JA, Sonnabend W, Schopfer K.