Diagnostic for Hidradenitis Suppurativa using Dermicidin Peptide Secretion in Sweat

Case ID: 019-010-Shanmugam

­Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is a common chronic disease wherein painful boils and lesions develop owing to the inflammation of sweat glands. The boils develop in the armpits, groin, buttocks, under the breasts, etc. and often secrete pus and blood. 1-4% of the population is afflicted with HS, with women being more likely to develop HS. It is difficult to diagnose HS as the boils can be easily confused for pimples or other common skin problems. Also, currently, there are no chemical or molecular diagnostic tests available for HS and this leads to significant delays in its diagnosis as a number of disorders must be ruled out before HS can be confirmed.

GW researchers identified Dermcidin as a potential HS biomarker. Dermicidin is an anti-microbial peptide found in human sweat. RNA expression profiles of HS surgical skin specimens were compared with harvested normal skin. Dermicidin was significantly down-regulated in the HS specimens. Dermicidin holds promise to be used as a non-invasive biomarker to help in the early diagnosis of HS by simply checking the peptide levels in sweat. The invention is currently at the proof-of-concept phase and the next steps involve confirmation of findings using the PCR-ELISA test and comparing Dermicidin levels in sweat samples from HS patients and normal subjects.


  • Diagnosing patients with Hidradenitis Suppurativa


  • Biomarker-based
  • Non-invasive
  • Rapid


Patent Information:

Title App Type Country Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
Detecting Expression Levels of Biomarkers in Samples from Patients Suspected of Having Hidradenitis Suppurativa US Utility *United States of America   10/4/2019   Published

For Information, Contact:

Brian Coblitz
Sr. Licensing Manager
George Washington University


Victoria Shanmugam
Derek Jones