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Surprising Science

Bacteria on Skin Enhances Immune Cell Function

The harmless bacteria found on the surface of the skin can enhance the function of immune cells. 

Article is written by guest writer Rin Mitchell

What’s the Latest Development?

According to researchers, the harmless bacteria living on the skin is key in fighting disease-causing microbes. “The skin’s surface is home to surprisingly diverse communities of bacteria, collectively known as the skin microbiota.” Scientists used mice “born and raised with no naturally occurring microbes on the skin or in the gut to identify how skin microbiota effects immune cell function.” “In separate experiments, the researchers found that the presence or absence of microbes in the gut seemed to have no effect on the skin’s immune responses. This finding suggests that bacteria have unique roles at different sites in the body.”

What’s the Big Idea? 

Bacteria are viewed as harmful, but that is not the case. There are good and bad bacteria, and the skin’s surface houses many harmless bacteriawhich can “manipulate immune responses and inflammation.” The study shows “these bacteria can play an important role in promoting health by preventing skin infections from becoming more prolonged, pronounced and more serious.” 


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