Leslie Castelo-Soccio, MD, PhD – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that leads to hair loss. There is no approved therapy for this stigmatizing disease. Current off-label immune suppressive therapies can put children at short-term risk for infection and long-term risk for malignancy. In other similar autoimmune diseases, there has been increasing evidence that altering the bacteria of the gastrointestinal tract may mitigate disease. There is no specific data on the microbiome in individuals with alopecia areata. We propose to create a database of stool samples from children with and without alopecia areata. We will then analyze the genetics of the stool to classify the diversity and type of bacteria in the samples of children with alopecia and without alopecia. We expect to see differences between these populations. Longer term, we aim for this pilot to become the basis for novel interventional studies creating complementary therapeutics for pediatric alopecia areata.
This study was funded as a 2018 PeDRA Pilot Grant and is currently underway.