Ultraviolet radiation alters the skin microbiome composition

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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Publication Title

J Invest Deramtol


The skin is home to microorganisms that tend to have commensal relationships with the host. As its own ecosystem, human skin and its microbiome are subject to the effects of environmental stressors, such as ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Knowledge of how the colonization of skin changes following this exposure can advance our understanding of the delicate balance between host and microorganism. We hypothesized that the cutaneous microbiome will change following exposure to UVR. To assess this, participants with Fitzpatrick types 1 and 2 were exposed to varying doses of UVA and UVB, immediately or after 24 hours. Swab samples were taken from the non-exposed/exposed sites and 16S ribosomal DNA bacterial gene sequencing was performed to identity the microorganisms present. We found that alteration in microbiome composition occurred following each UV dose, and not a single sample returned to the original pre-UVR composition. Following UVR, an overall decrease in composition of Lactobacillaceae and Pseudomonadaceae, while an increase in phylum Cyanobacteria were observed. These findings reveal a link between UVR and microbiome composition and may provide useful information for developing novel treatments in preventing sun damage or dermatologic conditions that may be caused or facilitated by host-microbe interactions.




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