Saturday, November 25, 2017

How the skin becomes inflamed: Toxin-producing bacteria

In this article the author write about how the skin becomes inflamed because some conditions like atopic dermatitis, usually known as eczema. Eczema is a skin condition that causes inflammation, it affects 20% of children and 5% of adults. There is a bacteria that lays on the skin which makes a protein that makes our own cells to have an reaction and then cause inflammation. Bacteria is normal to have on the skin because it protects it and prevents infection and inflammation from substances. When harming bacteria finds a way to enter the skin then this becomes dangerous because it causes serious problems. The common cause of skin infection comes from the bacteria S. Aureus which is also a very important human pathogen, a majority of people in the United States have this bacteria on their skin. Those who have eczema have a much higher amount of S. Aureus on their skin than those who do not have eczema. Although doctors were able to get obtain this information they were still not able to find the cause of eczema. A rare skin disease was later discovered called pustular psoriasis. This disease was caused by a genetic mutation with an outcome of uncontrolled activity of a protein that is usually made within the skin, this is called IL-36. Discovering this fact could lead to how bacteria in the skin activates inflammation. The doctors who found this discovery then decided to test it out on mice. On one mice they soaked gauze with S. Aureus and placed it on the mice’s back, this mice was genetically engineered to not have the receptor for IL-36 that activates the inflammatory responses. On the other mice they also soaked gauze with S. Aureus and placed it on the mice’s back but this mice was normal. The results showed that the normal mice developed scaly and inflamed skin and the mice without the IL-36 receptor had little to none inflammation.

This article related to genetics because if those who suffer from eczema were able to be genetically engineered to not have the receptor IL-36 would no longer have to suffer from the skin condition. My sister suffers from eczema and her skin gets very inflamed especially in the winter. This article brought me back to the pedigree when we learned about dominant and recessive traits that are inherited from parents because my mother also suffers from eczema and my father does not. I inherited his dominant trait of not having eczema and my sister inherited my mom’s dominant trait. If my sister was able to be genetically engineered to have eczema her skin would no longer be inflamed.

No comments:

Post a Comment