This review article on the skin microbiota was written in response to recent advances that transitioned from culture methods to PCR amplification and sequencing of bacterial and fungal genes as a result of the Human Microbiome Project. This transition enables the investigation of the full diversity of microorganisms inhabiting human skin. The skin provides a range of habitats with different microbiota associated with the three major regions of the skin, namely the moist axilla, perineum, and toe webs; oily or sebaceous head, neck, and trunk; and dry forearms and legs. These new culture-independent tools are revealing the diversity of the human skin microbiota in the different locations of the body and with skin depth. These tools should lead to a better understanding of the state of homeostasis between the microbiota and the host and the overall functionality of that microbiota.
Human skin Microbiota Microbial diversity High-throughput gene sequencing Skin regions Skin depth Terminal differentiation Birth mode Puberty Dermatological diseases StaphylococcusPropionibacteriumCorynebacterium
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