At present, CK-CARE’s main research focus is on treatment of atopic dermatitis, which is recognized as a global healthcare burden. In Switzerland, 5–8% of adults and 15–20% of babies and children are affected, making it the most common chronic inflammatory skin disease, especially among children. Similarly, high numbers are also found in other countries in Europe and in the United States of America. In Asia, the number of people affected is even higher. As recently determined by the WHO, in sub-Saharan Africa, atopic dermatitis is the most chronic, non-infectious inflammatory skin disease.
The science suggests, atopic dermatitis is the underlying disease or precursor for the development of additional allergies. For example, with atopic dermatitis, the skin barrier is damaged, paving the way for increased sensitivity and ultimately allergies caused by environmental factors such as pollen, moulds, food, or dust mites. CK-CARE’s research aims to better understand atopic dermatitis in order to develop new therapies and, particularly, preventive measures to thereby mitigate the growing incidence of allergies.
Since mid-2017, CK-CARE research has been developing one of the largest international atopic dermatitis and allergy registers (database and biobank). In the coming years, the focus will be on detailed analysis of bio-samples and data points. These bio-samples are analyzed using the latest biomedical methods and the results are linked to the extensive collection of patient data, which includes information of their environments. This is only possible with the help of bioinformatics and biostatistical methods. Network analyses will then work out new target structures for therapy and prevention. This will allow for the development of sustainable changes to the lives of children and adults with atopic dermatitis and allergies.