Manipulating Microbiota to Treat Atopic Dermatitis: Functions and Therapies

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Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a globally prevalent skin inflammation with a particular impact on children. Current therapies for AD are challenged by the limited armamentarium and the high heterogeneity of the disease. A novel promising therapeutic target for AD is the microbiota. Numerous studies have highlighted the involvement of the skin and gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of AD. The resident microbiota at these two epithelial tissues can modulate skin barrier functions and host immune responses, thus regulating AD progression. For example, the pathogenic roles of Staphylococcus aureus in the skin are well-established, making this bacterium an attractive target for AD treatment. Targeting the gut microbiota is another therapeutic strategy for AD. Multiple oral supplements with prebiotics, probiotics, postbiotics, and synbiotics have demonstrated promising efficacy in both AD prevention and treatment. In this review, we summarize the association of microbiota dysbiosis in both the skin and gut with AD, and the current knowledge of the functions of commensal microbiota in AD pathogenesis. Furthermore, we discuss the existing therapies in manipulating both the skin and gut commensal microbiota to prevent or treat AD. We also propose potential novel therapies based on the cutting-edge progress in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number642
Number of pages34
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • aryl hydrocarbon receptors
  • atopic dermatitis
  • fecal microbiota transplantation
  • G-protein-coupled receptors
  • gut microbiota
  • histone deacetylases
  • metabolites
  • short-chain fatty acids
  • skin microbiota
  • toll-like receptors

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