Developing Therapeutics to Treat Widespread Cutaneous Viral Infections in Atopic Dermatitis Patients
Recurrent and widespread viral skin infections, especially with herpes simplex, molluscum contagiosum or vaccinia virus are complications uniquely observed in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD). Ideally, one would like to prevent these from occurring rather than reactively managing them when they arise, as they can result in significant morbidity and even mortality (eczema vaccinatum – vaccinia virus). We believe one way to do that would be to identify features in the microenvironment at the epithelial surface that make AD subjects susceptible to these widespread cutaneous viral infections. As such, we are investigating how therapeutics that target Th2 immunity can ameliorate epithelial vaccinia infections both in vitro and in AD murine model systems in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Brian Ward.
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