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Researchers identify new bacteria and viruses in human skin

Researchers identify new bacteria & viruses in the human skin #microbiome. Study reveals 174 previously unknown bacterial species, 4 new eukaryotes & 20 new jumbo phage. These viruses have a genome of >200 kilobases (3 to 5 times that of the average virus).

Data representing a variety of microorganisms found in the human skin microflora. Credits: Karen Arnott / EMBL

Researchers and colleagues at EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute for Human Genome (NHGRI), NIH National Institute for Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases are new bacteria and Identified the fungal species. , And the human skin microbiome virus.

Microbial flora (community of microorganisms) can be found everywhere, from the sea and soil to the human intestines and surfaces. skin.. The skin flora is thought to play an important role in skin health and disease. Certain microbes in the skin flora are associated with a variety of skin conditions, including acne and eczema.

In this study Nature microbiologyThe researchers sequenced the genomes of the microorganisms found in 594 samples taken from various skin surfaces of 12 healthy volunteers. By combining traditional laboratory cultures with the metagenome sequencing approach, researchers have been able to create the Skin Microbial Genome Collection (SMGC), a collection of reference genomes for the human skin microbial flora.

Diversity of skin flora

“We have found thousands of viruses sequence Contains many jumbo phage — a very large virus to infect Bacteria“Most commonly on the surface of volunteer limbs,” said Dr. Sara Kashaf, a PhD student at NIH and EMBL-EBI. Always use your hands to touch new things in the environment. Our future work is aimed at understanding what these various microorganisms are doing within these communities. “

Using extensive laboratory cultures, metagenomic sequences, and publicly available skin metagenomics, researchers gained these new insights into the degree of diversity within the skin flora. While this study focuses primarily on individuals in North America, future work aims to extend SMGC with samples from different populations.

“This study is a major step towards obtaining a complete genomic blueprint for the skin flora,” said Julie Segre, Principal Investigator at NHGRI. “We hope that these data will be useful for future research to better understand skin health and illness.”

New eukaryotes, bacteria, viruses

The SMGC collection contains 174 previously unknown bacterial species, 4 new eukaryotes, and 20 new jumbo phage. These viruses have a genome of over 200 kilobases, which is three to five times that of the average virus. Researchers have previously dealt with incomplete knowledge of the bacterial composition of the skin microbiome. However, this study expands the catalog of known skin bacteria by 26%.

“In addition to bacteria virus Although metagenomics usually recovers, 12 genomes have also been found in unicellular eukaryotes (fungi such as yeast) of human skin. Some of these genomes are already known, such as Malassezia furfurosa, which is associated with mycobiomes of healthy skin, but also with conditions such as dandruff. Rob Finn, Group Leader of EMBL-EBI, said: “Using the same method of recovering eight known genomes, we are confident in the four new eukaryotes found. Eukaryote One of them has revealed that it is very common across volunteers and can be found in many of us. “

All of this data will soon be freely accessible as a new genomic catalog of MGnify data resources. In this catalog, researchers can find a huge range of data. Microbial flora data set including human Intestines.

For more information: Sara Saheb Kashaf et al, Cultivation and Metagenomics Integration for Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the Diversity and Function of Skin Float, Nature microbiology (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41564-021-01011-w

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