The main objective of the Action is to bundle research expertise on atopic eczema (AE) and to identify key genetic and environmental risk factors. Atopic eczema (AE) is an inflammatory skin disorder which is characterized by dry and itchy skin and a cutaneous hyperreactivity to environmental triggers. It affects at least 15% of children and 2-10% of adults and often predates the development of allergic airway diseases. Given its substantial prevalence, which has seen an enormous rise especially in industrialized nations, and the lack of cure, there is a pressing need to better understand its pathophysiology. Recent evidence from molecular genetics underscores the importance of the skin barrier genes in addition to genes promoting abnormal immunological pathways. To reveal the mechanisms by which environmental factors pursue the genetic predisposition into disease manifestation, a multi-disciplinary approach is needed with complementary experimental approaches including both in vivo studies and validated animal and in vitro models. This COST Action will bring together experts fengaged in epidemiology, genetics, clinical research and research on skin barrier and immunology.
Chair of the Action: Dr Sanja Kezic (Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Croatian Management Committee Member: Prof. Neven Zarkovic