gms | German Medical Science

10. Kongress für Infektionskrankheiten und Tropenmedizin (KIT 2010)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Infektiologie,
Deutsche AIDS-Gesellschaft,
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Tropenmedizin und Internationale Gesundheit,
Paul-Ehrlich-Gesellschaft für Chemotherapie

23.06. - 26.06.2010, Köln

Inducibility of the antimicrobial peptides RNase7, HBD-2 and HBD-3 and its influence on clinical outcome of Staphylococcus aureus-positive skin infections

Induzierbarkeit der antimikrobiellen Peptide RNase7, HBD-2 and HBD-3 und ihr Einfluss auf den klinischen Verlauf von durch Staphyloccus aureus verursachten Hautinfektionen

Meeting Abstract

  • P. Zanger - Universität Tübingen, Institut für Tropenmedizin, Tübingen, Germany
  • J. Holzer - Universität Tübingen, Institut für Tropenmedizin, Tübingen, Germany
  • R. Schleucher - Tropmed-Ruhr, Bochum, Germany
  • H. Scherbaum - Tropenklinik, Paul-Lechler-Krankenhaus, Tübingen, Germany
  • B. Schittek - Universität Tübingen, Hautklinik, Tübingen, Germany
  • S. Gabrysch - Universtität Heidelberg, Institut für Public Health, Heidelberg, Germany

10. Kongress für Infektionskrankheiten und Tropenmedizin (KIT 2010). Köln, 23.-26.06.2010. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2010. DocINF 14-4

doi: 10.3205/10kit031, urn:nbn:de:0183-10kit0316

Published: June 2, 2010

© 2010 Zanger et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objectives: Gram-positive bacteria are the predominant cause of skin infections. Antimicrobial peptides (AMP) are believed to be of major importance in skin's innate defense against these pathogens. This study aimed at providing clinical evidence for the contribution of AMP inducibility in determining the severity of gram-positive skin infection.

Methods: Using real-time-PCR we determined inducibility of human β-defensins (HBD) -2, HBD-3 and RNase 7 by comparing healthy and lesional mRNA levels in 32 patients with gram-positive skin infection. We examined whether AMP inducibility differed by disease severity, as measured by number of recurrences and need for surgical drainage in patients with S. aureus-positive lesions.

Results: HBD-2 and -3, but not RNase 7 mRNA expression was highly inducible by gram-positive infection in previously healthy skin. Lower inducibility of HBD-3, but not HBD-2, was associated with more severe S. aureus skin infection: HBD-3 mRNA levels were 11.4 times lower in patients with more than 6 recurrences (p=0.01) and 8.8 times lower in patients reporting surgical drainage (p=0.01) as compared to baseline severity.

(Figure 1 [Fig. 1])

Conclusions: Inducibility of HBD-3 appears to be a determinant of the severity of gram-positive skin infections in vivo. The physiological function of HBD-2 induction in this context remains unclear.