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      A diversity profile of the human skin microbiota.

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          Abstract

          The many layers and structures of the skin serve as elaborate hosts to microbes, including a diversity of commensal and pathogenic bacteria that contribute to both human health and disease. To determine the complexity and identity of the microbes inhabiting the skin, we sequenced bacterial 16S small-subunit ribosomal RNA genes isolated from the inner elbow of five healthy human subjects. This analysis revealed 113 operational taxonomic units (OTUs; "phylotypes") at the level of 97% similarity that belong to six bacterial divisions. To survey all depths of the skin, we sampled using three methods: swab, scrape, and punch biopsy. Proteobacteria dominated the skin microbiota at all depths of sampling. Interpersonal variation is approximately equal to intrapersonal variation when considering bacterial community membership and structure. Finally, we report strong similarities in the complexity and identity of mouse and human skin microbiota. This study of healthy human skin microbiota will serve to direct future research addressing the role of skin microbiota in health and disease, and metagenomic projects addressing the complex physiological interactions between the skin and the microbes that inhabit this environment.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Genome Res
          Genome research
          Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
          1088-9051
          1088-9051
          Jul 2008
          : 18
          : 7
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Genetics and Molecular Biology Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
          Article
          gr.075549.107
          10.1101/gr.075549.107
          2493393
          18502944
          28389f84-55cf-4c66-81f2-b42450d52126

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