Diversity and evolution of the primate skin microbiome.

Published

Journal Article

Skin microbes play a role in human body odour, health and disease. Compared with gut microbes, we know little about the changes in the composition of skin microbes in response to evolutionary changes in hosts, or more recent behavioural and cultural changes in humans. No studies have used sequence-based approaches to consider the skin microbe communities of gorillas and chimpanzees, for example. Comparison of the microbial associates of non-human primates with those of humans offers unique insights into both the ancient and modern features of our skin-associated microbes. Here we describe the microbes found on the skin of humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, rhesus macaques and baboons. We focus on the bacterial and archaeal residents in the axilla using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. We find that human skin microbial communities are unique relative to those of other primates, in terms of both their diversity and their composition. These differences appear to reflect both ancient shifts during millions of years of primate evolution and more recent changes due to modern hygiene.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Council, SE; Savage, AM; Urban, JM; Ehlers, ME; Skene, JHP; Platt, ML; Dunn, RR; Horvath, JE

Published Date

  • January 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 283 / 1822

PubMed ID

  • 26763711

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26763711

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1471-2954

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0962-8452

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1098/rspb.2015.2586

Language

  • eng