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Infect Genet Evol. 2011 Jul;11(5):839-48. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2011.03.022. Epub 2011 Apr 2.

Skin microbiota: microbial community structure and its potential association with health and disease.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. rosenbr@umich.edu

Abstract

Skin, the largest human organ, is a complex and dynamic ecosystem inhabited by a multitude of microorganisms. Host demographics and genetics, human behavior, local and regional environmental characteristics, and transmission events may all potentially drive human skin microbiota variability, resulting in an alteration of microbial community structure. This alteration may have important consequences regarding health and disease outcomes among individuals. More specifically, certain diversity patterns of human microbiota may be predictive or diagnostic of disease. The purpose of this review is to briefly describe the skin microbiota, outline the potential determining factors driving its variability, posit the likelihood of an association between the resulting microbial community structure on the skin with disease outcomes among individuals, and finally, to present some challenges and implications for studying the skin microbiota.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21463709
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3114449
Free PMC Article

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