for people ages 18-60 (full criteria)
at San Diego, California
study started
estimated completion
Richard Gallo



Unlike healthy control skin, the skin of patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) is frequently colonized by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), putting these patients at increased risk of S. aureus skin infections. In addition, research in the investigator's lab has shown that these patients have fewer protective antimicrobial Staphylococcal species such as Staphylococcal epidermidis (S. epidermidis) that are known to produce antimicrobial peptides that play a role in protecting the skin from invading pathogens. In this study, the investigator will attempt to decrease S. aureus colonization and increase colonization of protective Staph species in AD patients. First the investigator will capture the bacteria on subjects' skin. Next the investigator will selectively grow the subject's antimicrobial Staphylococcal colonies and place them into a base moisturizer. The moisturizer plus bacteria will be applied to one of the subject's arms for one week. Some subjects will receive placebo, which is the moisturizer alone (without bacteria). The investigator will then swab the arms at specified time points during and after the one week application in order to determine whether the S. aureus abundance was affected by the application of the transplanted bacteria.


Atopic Dermatitis EczemaDermatitisDermatitis, AtopicEczemaAutologous Microbial Transplant


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-60

  1. Male or female subjects who are not pregnant or lactating. Female subjects of child-bearing potential must have a negative urine pregnancy test on the day of the screening visit in order to be eligible for the study.
  2. 18-60 years of age
  3. Diagnosis of atopic dermatitis for at least 6 months using the Hanifin and Rajka Diagnostic Criteria for atopic dermatitis
  4. Presence of lesional atopic dermatitis skin in both antecubital fossae
  5. Positive S. aureus colonization based on results of a skin culture taken from one of their AD-affected antecubital fossae
  6. Positive for antimicrobial CoNS species from non-lesional AD skin

You CAN'T join if...

  1. Use of any topical AD treatments (including topical steroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors) to either arm within one week of the Treatment visit
  2. Use of any antihistamines 7 days within one week of the Treatment visit
  3. Use of any oral/systemic AD therapies (steroids) within 28 days of the Treatment visit
  4. Severe AD that would worsen significantly from holding a participant's usual topical/oral AD medications for the time periods required in the inclusion/exclusion criteria (one week prior to the Treatment visit for topical medications and antihistamines and 28 days prior to Treatment visits for oral medications)
  5. Subjects who have taken a bleach bath within a week prior to the Treatment visit, or who take bleach baths during the study
  6. Patients with severe medical condition(s) that in the view of the investigator prohibits participation in the study
  7. Subjects with Netherton's syndrome or other genodermatoses that result in a defective epidermal barrier
  8. Any subject who is immunocompromised (e.g. provides researchers with a history lymphoma, HIV/AIDS, Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome) or has a history of malignant disease (with the exception of non-melanomatous skin cancer). This information will be gathered verbally from the patient while taking a medical history from the patient, and will not involve further testing such as an HIV test.
  9. Subjects with a history of psychiatric disease or history of alcohol or drug abuse that would interfere with the ability to comply with the study protocol
  10. . Active bacterial, viral or fungal skin infections
  11. . Any noticeable breaks or cracks in the skin on either arm, including severely excoriated skin or skin with open or weeping wounds suggestive of an active infection or increased susceptibility to infection.
  12. . Ongoing participation in another investigational trial
  13. . Use of any oral or topical antibiotic for up to four weeks prior to the Treatment visit
  14. . Use of any systemic immunosuppressive therapy (e.g. CsA, MTX, etc.) within four weeks of the Treatment visit.
  15. . Sensitivity to or difficulty tolerating Dove fragrance-free bar soap or Cetaphil lotion
  16. . Subjects with prosthetic heart valves, pacemakers, intravascular catheters, or other foreign or prosthetic devices.
  17. . Allergy or intolerability to soy or macadamia nuts.
  18. . Participant who has a condition or is in a situation that, in the investigator's opinion, may put the patient at significant risk, or may significantly interfere with the patient's participation in the study.


  • University of California San Diego Dermatology Clinic accepting new patients
    San DiegoCalifornia92122United States

Lead Scientist

  • Richard Gallo
    Authored (or co-authored) 305 research publications


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Phase 1
Study Type
Last Updated