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    Differences in microbiome observed in patients with psoriasis

    Understanding of the microbiome and dysbiosis may result in new psoriasis therapies

    William W. Mohn, PhD Mariusz Sapijaszko, MD, FRCPC

    Growing understanding of the skin microbiome opens up the potential for new therapeutic targets, according to the President of the Canadian Dermatology Association and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

    "There is a symbiotic relationship between us and our microbiome," explains Mariusz Sapijaszko MD, FRCPC, in an interview with Dermatology Times. "The disruption of that relationship can occur through our diet, our habits, our upbringing, and antibiotic treatments. These have been shown to have profound effects on our health. There is more and more evidence that dysregulation of the microbiome has a tremendously negative impact on how we feel, how we think, and the way our body manifests health and disease."

    At the recently held annual meeting of the Canadian Dermatology Association, a symposium on the role of the microbiome in skin pathologies was held. Topics such as preserving the natural ecosystem of the various niches, upsetting the balance in the microbiome, and characterizing the diversity of the microbiome to correct imbalances were raised.

    "When it comes to the skin, the research (about the skin microbiome) is quite recent," says Dr. Sapijaszko. "It is well-known that our intestinal flora is critical to our well-being and disruption of it has profound long-lasting effects that can be very serious."

    The subject of the microbiome and dysbiosis is gaining popularity and wider acceptance, says Dr. Sapijaszko. "Clearly, there are differences in the microbiome   between lesional skin and non-lesional skin, and (the microbiome of) individuals who have psoriasis and those who do not," he says. "It is quite complex because there are thousands of different organisms and tremendous genetic variability between patients."

    The fact that there are differences between lesional and non-lesional skin and between psoriatics and non-psoriatics represents a new area for research into future therapies, says Dr. Sapijaszko.

    "You can imagine new technologies," he says. "If we look at an individual person's microbiome, and know from research that certain organisms are under-represented or over-represented, then we could perhaps use something as simple as soap or topical cream designed to decrease certain types of bacteria or introduce some other types of bacteria or fungi for that matter. That topical therapy could be as powerful as our systemic agents."

    Next: Potential new therapies

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