New Short Report: IL-6 levels dominate the serum cytokine signature of severe epidermolysis bullosa – a prospective cohort study

Our PIs Cristina Has and Moritz Hess have published a new research article assessing cytokine levels in children and young adults with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). EB is a group of genetically heterogeneous dermatological disorders that affects around 2000 individuals in Germany. Their findings suggest that bacterial colonisation in wounds could significantly contribute to systemic inflammation in these individuals, and that larger wounds were associated with increased levels of IL-6, a key inflammatory marker. This suggests that IL-6 levels could help monitor the severity of EB in patients, and the size of the wound might serve as a new way to subcategorize EB types. Importantly, minimizing bacterial colonisation could lower inflammation and substantially improve life quality for these patients.

We spoke with Moritz to discuss motivations and challenges faced during this research:

“Our main motivation for conducting this research was to improve the quality of life for patients with Epidermolysis Bullosa by better understanding the factors that contribute to systemic inflammation. One of the biggest challenges we faced was accurately measuring and analyzing the cytokine levels due to the variability in wound size and infection status across patients. We were surprised to find such a significant correlation between larger wounds and increased IL-6 levels, which opens new avenues for monitoring and potentially treating EB more effectively.”

Check out the report here.

Administrative Manager

Marc Schumacher

Institute of Medical Biometry and Statistics,
Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center –
University of Freiburg