The Human Skin Microbiome

1513 WordsFeb 26, 20186 Pages
THE HUMAN SKIN MICROBIOME Throughout the millions of years of human evolution, humans and microorganisms have evolved side by side. In fact the cells of microorganisms out number human cells in the body. Some of the relationships between these microorganisms are mutualistic like Lactobacillus that helps the human body digest lactose and competes with pathogenic bacteria which boosts the immune system. Other bacteria that live in the human body are not beneficial but pathogenic. Salmonella is a pathogenic bacterium in the body that can cause typhoid fever and food poisoning. Much like how every macro organism on earth has its own micro biome, each region of the human body has its own specific micro biome. The human sin is the body’s largest organ and has a distinct micro biome. The average human skin has an area of two square meters and has around one trillion bacteria present on it (Grice et al, 2009). The skin is the first line of defense against infection, houses many of the sensory receptors of the body, and regulates heat regulation the body. Due to the salty environment present on the skin, many microorganisms can’t live on the skin. Despite this fact bacteria species thrive on the human skin. Of the one trillion bacteria present on the skin 90% are Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, or Proteobacteria (Grice et al, 2009). Most of the bacteria present are non-pathogenic and some provide mutualistic benefits. Others are pathogenic bacteria, or
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