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Skin bacteria can protect against infections: study

Researchers found that millions of naturally occurring bacteria in the skin,known as the skin microbiota.

Written by Agencies | Washington | Published: July 27, 2012 1:19 pm

The millions of bacteria that live on skin can boost immunity and protect the body from infections,a new research has claimed.

Researchers from National Institutes of Health in US found

that millions of naturally occurring commensal bacteria in the

skin collectively known as the skin microbiota contribute to

protective immunity by interacting with the immune cells in

the skin.

The study was published in journal Science. The investigators colonised germ-free mice (mice bred with

no naturally occurring microbes in the gut or skin) with the

human skin commensal Staphylococcus epidermidis.

The team observed that colonising the mice with this one

species of good bacteria enabled an immune cell in the mouse skin to produce a cell-signaling molecule needed to protect against harmful microbes.

The researchers subsequently infected both colonised and

non-colonised germ-free mice with a parasite. Mice that were

not colonised with the bacteria did not mount an effective

immune response to the parasite,mice that were colonised did.

The study demonstrated that skin health relies on the

interaction of commensals and immune cells,the researchers

said in a statement.

The study was led by investigators in the laboratories of

Yasmine Belkaid at the National Institute of Allergy and

Infectious Diseases,in collaboration with Julie Segre at the

National Human Genome Research Institute,and Giorgio

Trinchieri,and Heidi Kong at the National Cancer Institute.

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