As the body’s largest organ, the main function of the skin is to serve as a physical barrier between the host and harmful foreign organisms or toxic substances.
However, human skin itself harbors complex communities of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi and viruses, which also have beneficial effects on their host.
The skin microbiome is highly variable between populations and individuals and is influenced by a diverse range of factors including topographical location, environmental factors and the behaviour and health of the host.
Skin Microbiome Research Applications
An understanding of the skin microbiome can assist with research into varied fields, including:
- Skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, and research of pro-microbial and anti-microbial therapeutic approaches
- Research into symbiotic microorganisms living on the skin that may have beneficial health effects on the host
- Research into skin care and the effects and impact of dermatologic products, cosmetics and other chemicals on the skin microbiome
Our Services for Skin Microbiome Research
Human skin poses many problems for effective microbiome analysis primarily connected to sampling challenges and the low biomass of the microbial communities collected. Study design and sampling protocols must be carefully considered and controlled for effective skin microbiome analysis.
At Clinical Microbiomics we have established skin-optimized protocols to overcome these challenges - from sampling and DNA extraction to sequencing and data analysis.
Sample Preparation - We have extensive experience analyzing skin microbiome samples from different body sites and assist our clients from the very early phase of their studies ensuring that the optimal study setup and sampling is in place. We offer DNA extraction for all types of skin microbiome projects, performed under highly controlled and traceable conditions in our advanced, Copenhagen-based, ISO17025 certified laboratory.
16S rDNA amplicon sequencing provides insights into the taxonomical composition of the microbiome (genus/species resolution), whereas shotgun metagenomics powered by our MGS bioinformatics platform provides detailed characterization with the highest taxonomical (species/strain) and functional resolution (genes) possible.
Data Analysis – We generate high quality skin microbiome data and help you translate this into taxonomical and functional insights to how different treatments influence the natural skin microbiome. Our data analysis service is powered by our MGS bioinformatics platform providing detailed characterization with the highest taxonomical (species/strain) and functional resolution (genes) possible.
Jacob Bak Holm, PhD, Director of Scientific Operations
Jacob is our skin microbiome expert and can help you optimize sampling, sequencing and downstream analysis.