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Pathogens causing skin, soft tissue infections found in hidradenitis suppurative lesions

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November 21, 2014

Hidradenitis suppurativa lesions appeared to contain bacterial pathogens known to cause skin and soft tissue infections, according to researchers from France.

In a prospective study, the researchers evaluated the microbiology of 102 hidradenitis suppurativa lesions in a cohort of 82 patients treated at the Centre Médical de l’Institut Pasteur in Paris. The lesional samples were taken via needle aspiration, punch biopsy and swabs of open lesions with drainage. The researchers also obtained 58 samples of normal perilesional skin to serve as controls. Prolonged bacterial cultures were used to evaluate the samples, and a metagenomic study was conducted on six consecutive samples.

The analysis revealed two microbiological profiles. Staphylococcus lugdunensis was identified as a unique or prevailing isolate from 58% of hidradenitis suppurativa nodules and abscesses. The researchers also identified a polymicrobial anaerobic microflora containing strict anaerobes, milleri group streptococci and actinomycetes in 24% of abscesses and nodules and in 87% of chronic suppurating lesions.

According to the researchers, these findings suggest that hidradenitis suppurativa patients may be predisposed to skin and soft tissue infections caused by these low pathogenic species. They said it is unknown, however, whether the bacteria cause hidradenitis suppurativa lesions or are secondary infectious agents.

“This study demonstrates that bacterial pathogens known to cause soft tissue and skin infections are found in [hidradenitis suppurativa] lesions,” the researchers wrote. “These data open an avenue for future research on the pathophysiology of this disease, and provide a rational basis for clinical trials of treatment of [hidradenitis suppurativa].”

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

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