Background: Filaggrin (FLG) gene mutations, which result in complete or incomplete loss of proFLG/FLG peptides, have been reported as an important predisposing factor for atopic dermatitis (AD) and secondary atopic phenotypes such as atopic asthma.
Method: The presence of the protein FLG in the skin was evaluated at birth on 12 infants using Raman spectroscopy; these 12 infants were monitored for 1 year to see whether they developed AD. Three different statistical analysis procedures, two of which involved principal component analysis (PCA), were performed on the Raman spectra in order to determine the FLG content.
Results: The infants who had a lower FLG content, determined using any of the three statistical analysis procedures proposed, were also the ones that clinically developed AD.
Conclusion: The results suggest that Raman spectroscopy and statistical analysis such as PCA could be used as an early detection procedure for FLG -related AD and as a possible quantitative marker for FLG gene mutations.