Composition of the cutaneous microbiome can be artificially modulated according to a new study

The composition of the skin’s microbiome can be artificially and temporarily modulated according to a research group at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. The study study published on Microbiome shows that the use of probiotic mixtures carefully constructed in the laboratory on the skin can change, only temporarily, the composition and quantity of skin bacteria.

Such a discovery could be highly useful in the context of various epidermal therapies or even in the cosmetics sector. The microbial skin community is in fact one of the richest and most complex of all the bacterial communities that exist in our body, the so-called “microbiomes.”

The composition of skin bacteria, unlike other microbiomes of other areas of the body, remains however quite stable and the microorganisms, in terms of variability and quantity, are more or less always the same throughout life. Of course, there are various pathologies that can alter this balance, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and so on. Therefore, manipulating this microbiome could prove to be a very interesting strategy to combat these diseases.

Researchers are particularly interested in Cutibacterium acnes, a bacterium of the human cutaneous microbiome seen as one of the main culprits of acne vulgaris.

The researchers, led by Marc Güell of the Spanish University’s Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, are attempting to modulate the populations of this bacterium at the strain level.

To do this they used probiotic solutions made with donor microbiomes and applied them to 18 healthy volunteers aged between 22 and 42 years.

Researchers noted that after application the recipient’s microbiome became much more similar to that of the donor but this change had no adverse effects especially since the recipient’s microbiome returned to its original state after a few weeks.

“We expect this methodology to be used to study and modify the microbial components of the skin and have broad implications for future therapies,” says Güell, convinced that this method can be an effective contrast weapon.