Proteobacteria from the human skin microbiota: Species-level diversity and hypotheses

Abstract

The human skin microbiota is quantitatively dominated by Gram-positive bacteria, detected by both culture and metagenomics. However, metagenomics revealed a huge variety of Gram-negative taxa generally considered from environmental origin. For species affiliation of bacteria in skin microbiota, clones of 16S rRNA gene and colonies growing on diverse culture media were analyzed. Species-level identification was achieved for 81% of both clones and colonies. Fifty species distributed in 26 genera were identified by culture, mostly belonging to Actinobacteria and Firmicutes, while 45 species-level operational taxonomic units distributed in 30 genera were detected by sequencing, with a high diversity of Proteobacteria. This mixed approach allowed the detection of 100% of the genera forming the known core skin Gram-negative microbiota and 43% of the known diversity of Gram-negative genera in human skin. The orphan genera represented 50% of the current skin pan-microbiota. Improved culture conditions allowed the isolation of Roseomonas mucosaAurantimonas altamirensis and Agrobacterium tumefaciens strains from healthy skin. For proteobacterial species previously described in the environment, we proposed the existence of skin-specific ecotypes, which might play a role in the fine-tuning of skin homeostasis and opportunistic infections but also act as a shuttle between environmental and human microbial communities. Therefore, skin-associated proteobacteria deserve to be considered in the One-Health concept connecting human health to the health of animals and the environment.

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By | 2018-01-13T22:29:25+00:00 January 13th, 2018|

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