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PLoS One. 2019 May 3;14(5):e0216330. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216330. eCollection 2019.

Microbiome in the hair follicle of androgenetic alopecia patients.

Author information

1
Experimental Dermatology Group, Institute of Medical Biology, A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), Singapore, Singapore.
2
GERMS Platform for microbial genomics, Genome Institute of Singapore, A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), Singapore, Singapore.
3
YLL School of Medicine, National University of Singapore and National University Hospital System NUHS, Singapore, Singapore.

Abstract

Androgenetic alopecia is the most common form of hair loss in males. It is a multifactorial condition involving genetic predisposition and hormonal changes. The role of microflora during hair loss remains to be understood. We therefore analyzed the microbiome of hair follicles from hair loss patients and the healthy. Hair follicles were extracted from occipital and vertex region of hair loss patients and healthy volunteers and further dissected into middle and lower compartments. The microbiome was then characterized by 16S rRNA sequencing. Distinct microbial population were found in the middle and lower compartment of hair follicles. Middle hair compartment was predominated by Burkholderia spp. and less diverse; while higher bacterial diversity was observed in the lower hair portion. Occipital and vertex hair follicles did not show significant differences. In hair loss patients, miniaturized vertex hair houses elevated Propionibacterium acnes in the middle and lower compartments while non-miniaturized hair of other regions were comparable to the healthy. Increased abundance of P. acnes in miniaturized hair follicles could be associated to elevated immune response gene expression in the hair follicle.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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