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Studies of Skin Microbes in Healthy People and in People With Skin Conditions

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified February 10, 2017 by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) ) Identifier:
First received: January 23, 2008
Last updated: April 20, 2017
Last verified: February 10, 2017

January 23, 2008
April 20, 2017
January 18, 2008
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Identify skin bacterial diversity
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Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00605878 on Archive Site
Exploration of common and rare microflora species that reside on human skin in normal and disease state
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Studies of Skin Microbes in Healthy People and in People With Skin Conditions
Studies of Skin Microflora in Healthy Individuals and Atopic Dermatitis Patients

This study will examine microbes (e.g., bacteria, fungi, viruses) that live on human skin and how microbes contribute to health and disease. It will analyze healthy human skin and how the these microorganisms might change in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD), a skin condition also known as eczema.

Healthy volunteers, as well as patients with moderate to severe eczema (AD), between 2 and 40 years of age may be eligible for this study.

We also wish to enroll children and adults aged 2-40 who have been diagnosed with inherited immune disorders known as HIES (hyperimmunoglobulin-E syndrome), WAS (Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome), or DOCK8 immunodeficiency because they frequently have skin problems similar to AD.

Eligible participants undergo the following tests and procedures:

  • Medical family and medication history
  • Skin examination
  • Blood tests (research blood as well as serum IgE, and complete blood count)
  • Skin samples to analyze microbes. Samples are obtained by the following methods: swabbing the skin with a cotton swab; scraping (scratching) the skin gently with a blade to remove only the outermost skin layers; and, only in adults, biopsy (surgical removal) of a small skin sample less than 1/4-inch (5 mm) in diameter.
  • Nose swabs to analyze microbes.
  • Patients with eczema may have photographs of their skin taken to help monitor the skin rashes.

Participants may be contacted periodically for follow-up studies. Patients with atopic dermatitis may have additional skin samples collected to examine changes in the skin bacteria over time and during all of the stages of eczema. In addition, patients who have a flare of their eczema are asked to undergo a skin sample collection as soon as possible.

  • Skin microbiota (bacteria, fungi, viruses, phage, archae) play a significant role in common dermatological conditions, such as atopic dermatitis/AD (eczema).
  • Since culture-dependent methods are often biased assessments of microbial diversity, genomic methods can expand our understanding of the human microbiome and skin diseases.
  • Chronic dermatitis is typical among rare primary immunodeficiencies: Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome; hyper-IgE syndrome; and combined immunodeficiency associated with DOCK8 mutation syndrome. The skin disease in these monogenic disorders resembles AD, is associated with microbial infections, and may provide additional insight into microbial-host disease interactions.
Time Perspective: Prospective
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  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Ichthyosis Vulgaris
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*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
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Inclusion Criteria for all groups

Must have a primary care professional who will continue standard of care/evaluation in tandem with the protocol to whom information and recommendations can be communicated.

Inclusion Criteria for Group 1: Healthy Volunteers

Adult males or females aged 18-50 at time of enrollment.

Inclusion Criteria for Group 2: AD patients

A. Confirmed diagnosis of AD (UK Working Party s Diagnostic Criteria)24

B. Moderate to severe AD SCORAD greater than or equal to 25(25)

C. Greater than or equal to 1 affected antecubital (or popliteal) fossae at time of enrollment to serve as a target site.

Inclusion Criteria for Group 3: Healthy (pediatric) Controls

A. Males or females 2 18 years of age.

Inclusion Criteria for Groups 4, 5, & 6: AD/HIES/WAS/DOCK8 patients

A. Must have mutation-proven diagnosis, with or without eczematous dermatitis.


Exclusion Criteria for all groups:

  1. Any subjects with unstable or uncontrolled or chronic medical conditions requiring treatment or hospitalization. Individual determinations will be made at the discretion of the medical investigator.
  2. Any subjects receiving or planning to receive an IND agent, ultraviolet light therapy, monoclonal antibodies, or systemic immunosuppressants < 7 days or 5 half-lives (whichever is the longer time period) of initiating this protocol.
  3. Any subjects who have cancer, and are currently or have previously received treatment with chemotherapy or radiation for treatment of malignancies within the previous 6 months.
  4. Any subject with a history of bone marrow transplant or gene therapy.
  5. Any female with symptoms and/or serum hormone levels consistent with perimenopause.

Exclusion Criteria specific for Group 2: AD patients

A. Unable to remain off systemic (oral) antibiotics or systemic (oral) steroids for at least 7 days prior to body site sampling. Unable to temporarily discontinue use of topical steroids or calcineurin inhibitors for 7 days to small areas of skin intended for sampling. (Topical therapies/emollients for AD may be continued to non-adjacent, nontarget sites.)

B. Underlying immunodeficiency, either as primary disease or secondary to treatment.

Exclusion Criteria specific for Groups 4, 5, & 6: HIES/WAS/DOCK8 patients:

A. Unable to remain off topical steroids and emollients for preferably 7 days but at least 24 hours prior to body site sampling.

Exclusion Criteria specific for Groups 1 & 3: Healthy Volunteers and Healthy (pediatric) Controls:

A. Underlying immunodeficiency, either as primary disease or secondary to treatment.

B. Other documented chronic dermatologic disease, such as AD or psoriasis that may interfere with evaluation of the cutaneous microbiome. Common transient conditions, such as acne, are permissible.

C. Subjects who provide direct healthcare or reside in healthcare facilities or in non-hospital settings such as assisted living facilities, homeless shelters, jails and prisons as well as subjects with frequent exposure to laboratory animals.

D. Subjects with asthma.

Sexes Eligible for Study: All
2 Years to 50 Years   (Child, Adult)
Contact: Sheila E Phang, R.N. (301) 496-8724
Contact: Julia A Segre, Ph.D. (301) 402-2314
United States
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National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
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Principal Investigator: Julia A Segre, Ph.D. National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
February 10, 2017

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP