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Microbial Ecology of the Human Skin

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Anthony M. Cundell.

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Cundell, A.M. Microbial Ecology of the Human Skin. Microb Ecol 76, 113–120 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00248-016-0789-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00248-016-0789-6

Keywords

  • Human skin
  • Microbiota
  • Microbial diversity
  • High-throughput gene sequencing
  • Skin regions
  • Skin depth
  • Terminal differentiation
  • Birth mode
  • Puberty
  • Dermatological diseases
  • Staphylococcus
  • Propionibacterium
  • Corynebacterium