Friday, December 26, 2014

Bacteria keep us healthy

Diversity and dynamics of bacteriocins from human microbiome

Bacteriocins are peptides or proteins with antimicrobial activity that contribute to the stability and dynamics of microbial communities.

The authors identified bacteriocins produced by human commensal microbiota.  They employed bioinformatic analyses to identify putative bacteriocin sequences in metagenomic sequences obtained from different human body sites. Prevailing bacterial taxa of the putative bacteriocins producers matched the most abundant organisms in each human body site. 

Samples from different body sites contained different density of putative bacteriocin genes, with the highest in samples from the vagina, the airway, and the oral cavity and the lowest in those from gut. 

They concluded that inherent differences of different body sites influence the density and types of bacteriocins produced by commensal bacteria. 

The authors suggest that bacteriocins play important roles to allow different bacteria to occupy several human body sites, and to establish a long-term commensal relationship with human hosts.

Comment: While this study does not focus on Propionibacterium in the skin, it may help support the concept that dermal bacteria may help maintain the health of the skin.


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