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Alternation in the Human Microbiome With Commonly Used Topical Medications

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT03437005
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : February 19, 2018
Last Update Posted : June 14, 2022
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of California, Davis

Brief Summary:

The global aim of this study is to investigate how the human microbiome changes from baseline with commonly used topical medications such as topical antifungals, low to mid potency topical steroids and emollients.

The specific aims are as follows:

  1. Investigate whether ketoconazole cream, a commonly used topical antifungal, causes alterations in the human skin microbiome with short-term use.
  2. Investigate whether desonide 0.05 % ointment, a commonly used low potency topical steroid, alters the human microbiome with short-term use.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Healthy Drug: Desonide 0.05% Drug: Ketoconazole 2% Phase 1

Detailed Description:

The microorganisms present on human skin influence human health and disease. Older methods of studying the skin microbiota, such as culture based techniques, favored bacteria, which readily grew under standard laboratory conditions, compared to current molecular approaches, which have shown a greater diversity of skin microbiota. Human skin is a large organ that contains a wide range of physiological and topographical diversity. Distinct niches exist which predispose certain areas, such as hairy, moist underarms to a different bacterial community from dry, smooth sites, such as forearms. Given that the skin is a critical barrier between the body's internal environment and the external environment, characterization of the microbiota of the skin may provide insight into the balance between skin health and disease.

Certain inflammatory skin diseases, such as seborrheic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, have characteristic sites of involvement. The NIH funded Human Microbiome Project (HMP) aims to characterize the human microbiota and its role in health and disease. Recent research by the HMP showed that certain sites, such as the antecubital and popliteal fossa, sites commonly affected in atopic dermatitis, shared similar groups of organisms and distinct microbial communities. Sebaceous sites, commonly affected in seborrheic dermatitis, also shared similar microbial communities. In addition, Kong et al., showed that changes in microbial communities were temporally associated with disease flares in atopic dermatitis patients. Changes in the microbial communities in atopic dermatitis patients were not only associated with disease flares, but were also associated with whether the patient received treatment with topical medications, including antimicrobial or anti-inflammatory medications, during flares. These findings suggest that communities of microbes are important in the initiation and perpetuation of certain skin diseases and that the topical medications used in treatment of these diseases have an important role, which may be related to their alteration of the microbiome.

The most commonly used treatments in dermatology include topical steroids and topical antifungals, which have long established safety and efficacy. Understanding the changes that these topical medications cause in the human microbiome will provide further insight into their role in the treatment of certain skin diseases and may assist us in developing new therapies in the future.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 24 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description: The patient will be randomized to one of two groups, with one group receiving ketoconazole cream and the other receiving desonide ointment.
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Masking Description: Investigator and subject will be blinded.
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Alterations in the Human Microbiome With Commonly Used Topical Medications
Actual Study Start Date : January 28, 2013
Estimated Primary Completion Date : September 28, 2026
Estimated Study Completion Date : September 28, 2026

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Desonide 0.05%
Low potency steroid topical medication applied to specific locations on the face and extremities, twice daily for two weeks
Drug: Desonide 0.05%
Desonide 0.05% ointment topically twice daily for two weeks

Experimental: Ketoconazole 2%
Antifungal topical medication applied to specific locations on the face and extremities, twice daily for two weeks
Drug: Ketoconazole 2%
Ketoconazole 2% cream topically twice daily for two weeks

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Number of bacteria per each species [ Time Frame: 2 weeks after initial dispensing ]
    Percentage of various bacteria present on each skin site

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Number of species at test sites [ Time Frame: 2 weeks after initial dispensing ]
    The taxonomic diversity and evenness of each skin site's microbiome

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

The inclusion criteria:

• Adults at least 18 years of age.

The exclusion criteria:

  • Individuals with known chronically active skin diseases, including atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, other autoimmune and inflammatory skin conditions.

    • Patients with a history of skin cancer, multiple nevi, or other isolated lesions will not be excluded.
  • Individuals who have used topical, intravenous, intramuscular, or oral antibiotics within the last 6 months
  • Individuals with known allergies to any of the study medications.
  • Individuals younger than 18 years of age.
  • Adults unable to consent
  • Non-English speaking individuals. Given the complexity in the instructions that subjects will need to follow for proper sample collection, we will not seek to recruit non-English speaking individuals for this pilot study.
  • Prisoners

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT03437005

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Contact: Emanual Maverakis, MD 916-734-8254
Contact: Lauren Downing 916-551-2635

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United States, California
University of California, Davis, Department of Dermatology Recruiting
Sacramento, California, United States, 95816
Contact: Emanual Maverakis, MD    916-734-8254   
Contact: Lauren Downing    916-551-2635   
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of California, Davis
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Principal Investigator: Emanual Maverakis, MD UC Davis
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Responsible Party: University of California, Davis Identifier: NCT03437005    
Other Study ID Numbers: 390406
First Posted: February 19, 2018    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: June 14, 2022
Last Verified: June 2022
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by University of California, Davis:
Human microbiome
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Antifungal Agents
Anti-Infective Agents
14-alpha Demethylase Inhibitors
Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Steroid Synthesis Inhibitors
Hormone Antagonists
Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A Inhibitors
Anti-Inflammatory Agents