Please read Dr. Donia’s article in the journal eLife titled, “Bacterial DNA on the skin surface overrepresents the viable skin microbiome.“
The skin is the largest organ in the human body, providing roughly 25 square meters for potential host–microbe interactions. It facilitates our tactile interactions with the world, separates us from the dangers of our daily lives, and has the incredible ability to regenerate itself every 20–30 d. Human skin is also home to the organisms that comprise the skin microbiome, which has been shown to have important roles in human health. For example, the human skin microbiome affects immune system education, wound healing, colonization resistance, modulation of gene expression in the skin, and may have a role in development. Despite the many contributions of the skin microbiome to human health, there are important questions that have not been addressed by traditional methods: Why is the skin microbiome stable across months in longitudinal studies yet easily perturbed upon transient environmental changes like swimming? Why are there so many anaerobic bacteria on an organ exposed to the air? And why is it so difficult to stably colonize the skin with new microbes without strong perturbations like abrasion? To read the full article.
Bacterial DNA on the skin surface overrepresents the viable skin microbiome. Acosta EM, Little KA, Bratton BP, Lopez JG, Mao X, Payne AS, Donia M, Devenport D, Gitai Z. 2023 Jun 30;12:RP87192. PMID: 37389570 PMCID: PMC10328497 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.87192