Tape strips may serve as a minimally invasive approach to assess biomarkers for early-onset pediatric atopic dermatitis (AD), finds a study in JAMA Dermatology.

In the study of 51 children younger than 5 years, 21 children had moderate to severe AD with less than 6 months of disease duration, and 30 children did not have AD.

Seventy-seven of 79 evaluated immune and barrier gene products were detected in 70 of 71 tape strips, with 53 of 79 markers differentiating between children with lesional and/or nonlesional AD from children without AD, the study showed. Many cellular markers of T cells (CD3), AD-related dendritic cells (Fc ε RI and OX40 ligand receptors), and key inflammatory (matrix metallopeptidase 12), innate (interleukin 8 [IL-8] and IL-6), helper T cell 2 (T H 2; IL-4, IL-13, and chemokines CCL17 and CCL26), and T H 17/T H 22 (IL-19, IL-36G, and S100A proteins) genes were significantly increased in lesional and nonlesional AD compared with tape strips from normal skin.

“Tape strips provide a minimally invasive alternative for serially evaluating AD-associated cutaneous biomarkers and may prove useful for tracking pediatric AD therapeutic response and predicting future course and comorbidities,” the study authors conclude.