Streptococcal antigens (Streptococcus pyogenes) might be directly involved in the pathological mechanisms that result in the appearance of psoriasis lesions. Psoriasis is a chronic cutaneous inflammatory disease. Its prevalence is high and it affects considerably patients' quality of life.
This is the main conclusion of the scientific paper published by the translational research group on immunodermatology led by Luis Francisco Santamaria Babí, tenure-track lecturer of Immunology of the Department of Physiology and Immunology at the Faculty of Biology of the University of Barcelona and the Barcelona Science Park. The paper has been selected by the International Psoriasis CouncIL (IPC) as one of the top five papers published on 2013 about the disease.
Biomedical research on psoriasis is a highly active and competitive area. In 2013, a total of 1,908 papers on the disease were published, according to data obtained from the portal PubMed. IPC is a dermatology-led, global non-profit organization dedicated to innovation across the full spectrum of psoriasis through research, education and treatment.
IPC selected the study led by Santamaria as one of the top five papers published from January to June 2013. The article was published on the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, the highest impact factor journal in dermatology. Santamaria, who is also consultant at the Dermatology Service of Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, affirms that "although many research studies have been focused on psoriasis, immunopathogenic mechanisms are essential but remain hardly known".
"The particularity of the study is that it establishes a new ex-vivo model to elucidate how psoriasis lesions are initiated and triggered by means of the interaction among the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes, CLA+ T lymphocytes (a group of circulating cells which play a major role in psoriasis physiopathology), and epidermal cells", points out Santamaria, who collaborates with different international pharmaceutical companies in the research on new treatments for the disease and other pathologies related to the immune system and chronic inflammation.
This research line provides new insights into how psoriasis lesions are initiated and triggered, from a translational perspective. The study is part of a research project developed together with the group led by Ramon Pujol, director of the Dermatology Service at the Hospital del Mar and coordinator of the Research Group on Inflammatory Dermatological Diseases of the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), which is funded by the Fund for Health Research of the Carlos III Health Institute.