For their meta-analysis, the researchers concentrated on cases where atopic dermatitis preceded asthma. They included 12 studies with 2,428 patients and 17,034 healthy people. All of these studies were genome-wide association studies (GWAS) based on millions of genetic variants called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs).
It is the first GWAS for the atopic march and showed for the first time that there are specific genetic loci influencing the march's unfortunate course. "Seen from a physician’s perspective, the prominent role of atopic dermatitis genes for later-onset of asthma is very interesting,“ says Young-Ae Lee. The pediatrician leads a research group at the MDC and is also head of a university outpatient clinic for pediatric allergology and atopic dermatitis on the Berlin-Buch campus. "Our findings suggest that prevention or consequent therapeutic interventions in cases of pediatric atopic dermatitis may stop the further development of the atopic march.“
Source: Ingo Marenholz et al.: “Meta-analysis identifies seven susceptibility loci involved in the atopic march“ (NATURE COMMUNICATIONS; DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9804)
Josef Zens (Press Officer)