The human skin is home to many types of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that compose the skin microbiome. These 1,000s of different organisms and species have an important role in protecting from pathogens, influences immune functions and the ability of the skin to form a protective barrier, which in turn either promote or disrupt human health (1).
In some disease states, an altered balance of the skin microbiome can occur, a condition known as dysbiosis. This state of dysbiosis contributes to the disruption of immune homeostasis and worsens disease symptoms (1).
For example, atopic dermatitis is often characterized by dysbiosis of the skin microbiome, with an over-abundance of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (2).
Our work has discovered mechanisms for how selected bacteria cause or prevent diseases and has shown that reintroducing specifically selected beneficial bacterial strains from healthy skin can alleviate disease symptoms as well as kill or inhibit harmful species (3).