Evidence supporting a key role for an altered gut microbiome in the development of atopic dermatitis (AD) would suggest that the use of probiotics or prebiotics to correct microbial imbalances in the gut could help prevent or treat AD. A comprehensive review examining clinical studies of probiotics and prebiotics, given separately or combined, and factors affecting their efficacy is published in Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology website.

Eishika Dissanayake, MBBS and Naoki Shimojo, MD, PhD, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Japan, discuss the most recent knowledge about the link between AD and aberrations in the gut microbiome in the article entitled, "Probiotics and Prebiotics in the Prevention and Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis." The authors emphasize the need for further research to understand the disease mechanisms and the factors that may influence the effectiveness of specific prebiotic or probiotic therapy - such as strain selection, timing, duration, and method of administration.

The article is part of a special issue on atopic dermatitis led by Guest Editor Norito Katoh, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan.

"Atopic dermatitis is a highly prevalent disorder, especially in developed countries where it affects up to 20% of children," says Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology Editor-in-Chief Mary Cataletto, MD, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, State University of New York at Stony Brook. "Recent studies have demonstrated links between an aberrant gut microbiome and the development of atopic dermatitis. Given the significant impact of atopic dermatitis on quality of life and healthcare utilization, studies examining the potential role of therapeutic manipulation of the gut microbiome for either the treatment or prevention of atopic dermatitis is an important focus for future research."

Article: Probiotics and Prebiotics in the Prevention and Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis, Dissanayake Eishika and Shimojo Naoki, Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology, doi:10.1089/ped.2016.0708, published 1 December 2016.