COVID-19 statement from the ETFAD

Statement from the European Task Force on Atopic Dermatitis (ETFAD) on Corona virus (Covid-19) and Atopic Dermatitis

On March 11th the Director-General of the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 to be a pandemic with wide implications for the population around the world. The total number of cases around the world is increasing exponentially and poses a major health threat, especially for those who are immuno-compromised, including AD patients on systemic immuno-suppressive treatments, especially if they are elderly and/or have other co-morbidities. We currently do not know how the SARS-CoV-2 virus affects such patients.

The ETFAD recommends that the general recommendations from local health authorities in each European country and the WHO are followed concerning the counselling of patients on general measures regarding prevention of the disease, including hygienic procedures using hand wash and disinfectants. In case of soaps not being tolerated, a soap substitute should be used in the same way as directed for soap. Moisturizers should be applied afterwards.

In patients treated with traditional systemic immuno-suppressants, the mode of action of the immunosuppressant should be taken into account, and a careful individual risk assessment must be made. Special care in the risk assesment should be taken in patients suffering from co-morbidities including, but not limited to, asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease, eosinophilic esophagitis, kidney disease and severe allergies.

In otherwise healthy atopic dermatitis patients, it is not recommended to stop systemic immuno-suppressive therapy.
For atopic dermatitis patients diagnosed with Covid-19 infection, a careful case-by-case risk assessment weighing pros and cons of each drug must be made, and immunosuppressive therapy may be paused in accordance with current guidelines on active infections and systemic immuno-suppressive therapy. Patients with severe and complicated atopic dermatitis are recommended evaluation in a highly specialized center.

If systemic treatment of atopic dermatitis is paused, patients should be supplied with ample topical therapy, and guidance on the amount needed to prevent flares until systemic therapy can be reinstated. At all times local or national guidelines should be followed in each country.

The ETFAD recommends that all doctors treating atopic dermatitis remain vigilant and updated through their local hospital guidelines, local health authorities’ homepages and the WHO homepage

The European Task Force on Atopic Dermatitis, 15.03.2020

Sebastien Barbarot (FR), Thomas Bieber (DE), Marjolein de Bruin-Weller (NL), Pavel Chernychov (UA), Stephanie Christen-Zäch (CH), Michael Cork (UK), Ulf Darsow (DE), Mette Deleuran (DK), Carsten Flohr (UK), Regina Fölster-Holst (DE), Carlo Gelmetti (IT), Uwe Gieler (DE), Annice Heratizadeh (DE), DirkJan Hijnen (NL), Laura von Kobyletzki (SE), Barbara Kunz (DE), Carle Paul (FR), Linda de Raeve (BE), Johannes Ring (DE), Julien Seneschal (FR), Dagmar Simon (CH), Phyllis Spuls (NL), Jean-Francois Stalder (FR), Ake Svensson (SE), Zsusanna Szalai (HU), Alain Taieb (FR), Jacob Thyssen (DK), Antonio Torrelo (ES), Magda Trzeciak (PL), Christian Vestergaard (DK), Stefan Weidinger (DE), Thomas Werfel (DE), Andreas Wollenberg (DE)

ISAD research fellowship recipients

The following three candidates received the first ISAD research awards:

  • Catherine Droitcourt
  • Rosie Vincent
  • Linde de Wijs

Catherine Droitcourt – University Hospital of Rennes, France

I sincerely thank you the ad hoc jury of the International Society of Atopic Dermatitis for this generous grant.

After my residency in Dermatology, I have the privilege and the great honor to work with Professor Alain Taïeb as senior resident in Bordeaux, France. My high interest for atopic dermatitis grew at that time.

I’m now assistant professor in the Dermatology Department of the University Hospital of Rennes, France. I am dedicated to pediatric dermatology and inflammatory dermatoses. I have recently defended my PhD Thesis in Epidemiology, presenting a body of works using large-scale national health-insurance data to investigate suicidal and psychiatric risk under isotretinoin for severe acne. In addition, I’m the national coordinating investigator of a French multicenter academic randomized controlled trial on phototherapy and vitamin D in atopic dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis has my strong interest in particular studies based on nationwide databases or registers. I have started a very exciting fellowship in Jacob Thyssen’s team, in Copenhagen, Denmark, for developing an epidemiologic project on atopic dermatitis and risk of systemic infections that is in line with both my clinical domain and epidemiological background. This is a unique opportunity to create closer links between European teams doing epidemiologic research in Dermatology and to benefit from the experience of conducting epidemiological studies from the Danish registries.

I thank you again the members of ISAD for their support.

Catherine Droitcourt

Rosie Vincent – University of Bristol NHS Foundation trust

While working at the University of Bristol NHS Foundation Trust as a Core Medical Trainee I have been researching the uptake of core outcome measures in treatment trials for Atopic Dermatitis (AD).

I am interested in AD because it is highly prevalent in our population and it can have a considerable impact on patient quality of life. There is uncertainty regarding the symptoms of Cow’s Milk Allergy (CMA) in children with AD.

I want to conduct a diagnostic-accuracy study to improve the diagnosis and treatment of CMA in infants, using large data sets which will be hosted by the University of Bristol, UK.  Being accepted for the fantastic ISAD research fellowship has allowed my project to happen, and I am very excited to start it this year. 

Rosie Vincent

Linde de Wijs – Erasmus MC Rotterdam

more info will follow soon

My research as a PhD-student at the Erasmus University MC (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) is centered on atopic dermatitis care in daily practice. AD gained my interest because of the diversity of the disease, but most of all because of the major and intense impact it can have on patients’ lives.

Until now, one focus of our research team was evaluation of dupilumab treatment in a real life setting, considering the effectiveness and specific side effects including paradoxical facial erythema. Additionally, we are really interested in the role of serum biomarkers in measuring and monitoring disease activitiy. 

Recently, I started my research fellowship in the Osaka Habikino Medical Center (Osaka, Japan), in collaboration with Kyoto University. Here, serum TARC levels are being used routinely in daily practice as a biomarker for disease severity and as an instrument to reach tight-control, since 2008. During my research fellowship, I will further investigate the role of TARC in the pro-active treatment of AD in daily practice.

I am very excited for being awarded with this ISAD research fellowship grant and want to thank ISAD for the support to make all this possible.

Linde de Wijs