Scientists in Germany Discover Genetic Links to Eczema

February 2022

Researchers at Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in Berlin have identified rare gene variants that increase susceptibility to the skin disease eczema. They published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Eczema is caused by a mixture of environmental, allergic reaction and genetic factors, but previous studies had only been able to explain 15 percent of the disease’s hereditability. That was because the studies could only focus on genetic variants found in at least five percent of the population.

“Our study was the first to investigate the role of rare variants in eczema,” MDC research group leader Young-Ae Lee told the Internet platform Research in Germany.

The research team estimates that over 20 percent of the risk of eczema comes from the genetic regions identified in their study. As much as 20 percent of the world’s children and three percent of adults suffer from the disease.

© Lee Lab, MDC