Loyola University Chicago

Department of Biology

Gail Hillary Enriquez

Skin Microbiome and Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma

Date: Friday, July 21st via Zoom at 9:00 AM Central Time (U.S. and Canada)

Project Description: Skin microbiota is associated with disease activity in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). A common treatment for CTCL, narrowband ultraviolet B (nbUVB) phototherapy, has shown to shape the skin microbiome in association with disease improvement in other skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis. To assess the effect of nbUVB phototherapy on the skin microbiome, we performed a longitudinal analysis of skin samples of CTCL patients receiving nbUVB. We found that the treatment led to increased bacterial diversity and reduced abundances of Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus lugdunensis, both bacteria known to be pathogenic. These findings imply that nbUVB treatment changes the skin microbiota, potentially improving its therapeutic efficacy in CTCL. Furthermore, CTCL increases patients’ risk of sepsis and death, so we also conducted a retrospective analysis focused on sepsis risk in CTCL patients, to characterize CTCL sepsis patients from other non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) sepsis patients. We discovered that Black CTCL patients have a significantly higher risk of developing sepsis compared to other racial groups. This gap requires more research to comprehend the underlying factors contributing to the racial disparity in sepsis risk and to develop targeted interventions to minimize the higher risk reported in Black CTCL patients. Additionally, we found that Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli were the most predominant organisms in CTCL (26%) and non-CTCL NHL (14%), respectively. The results of these research taken together highlights the relationship between the skin microbiota and disease activity in CTCL.ory traits.

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