Patrick L.J.M. Zeeuwen; Michiel Kleerebezem; Harro M. Timmerman; Joost Schalkwijk


Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013;13(5):514-520. 

In This Article

Perspectives and Future Directions

Meta'omics studies are on the verge of revolutionizing our perspective on the skin microbiome and its interactions with the host skin barrier and defence systems. Apart from increasing our basic knowledge on the involvement of the microbiome in skin diseases, the implications for health will be two-fold. First, investigation of microbiota composition and functionality in longitudinal cohorts of well characterized disease phenotypes will facilitate the identification of markers related to disease onset, progression, and outcome. Early shifts in microbiota composition, like in atopic dermatitis patients with S. aureus overgrowth, can identify patients at risk of relapsing disease and be employed for noninvasive guidance of therapy regimes. In addition, investigation of skin microbiome dynamics during the course of currently applied disease treatment strategies could allow the recognition of microbiota features that distinguish responders from nonresponders, thereby potentially fuelling the development of combinatorial drug administration regimes that aim at controlling both host inflammation and skin microbiome dysbiosis. Second, skin microbiome explorations can uncover potential leads for the development of novel therapeutics that are specifically targeted to inhibit skin pathogens or restore natural commensal population structures. To date, encouraging observations have been made for direct and indirect protection against skin pathogens (Supplemental Table 2,