Evidence exists that microorganisms, particularly in the throat and skin, play a role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. The aim of this study was to investigate whether evidence for the presence of bacteria, including Streptococcus pyogenes, can be demonstrated in the peripheral blood of patients with guttate and/or chronic plaque psoriasis. Peripheral blood samples from 20 patients with psoriasis, seven guttate, six chronic plaque and seven chronic plaque with associated guttate flare and from 16 control subjects were studied for the presence of bacteria by PCR using universal 16S ribosomal DNA primers and specific primers for S. pyogenes. Sequence analysis of amplified 16S rRNA sequences was used to determine taxonomic identity. Ribosomal bacterial DNA was detected in the blood of all 20 patients with psoriasis, but in none of the controls. Streptococci were detected in six of seven patients with guttate psoriasis, but none had staphylococci. In contrast, staphylococci were identified in 9 of 13 patients with chronic plaque psoriasis, whilst only 2 demonstrated streptococci. In three psoriasis patients, species other than streptococci and staphylococci were identified. These findings suggest that psoriasis is associated with bacteraemia, with distinct taxonomic groups present in guttate and chronic plaque psoriatic subtypes. The causes of the bacteraemia and its implications in psoriasis have yet to be determined. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.
- Peripheral blood