Acne Cure News

Isolation and Identification of the Follicular Microbiome: Implications for Acne Research

Our understanding of the microbiome and the role of P. acnes in skin homeostasis and acne pathogenesis is evolving. Multiple methods for sampling and identifying the skin’s microbiome exist and understanding the differences between the abilities of various methods to characterize the microbial landscape is warranted. This study compared the microbial diversity of samples obtained from the cheeks of twenty volunteers, collected by surface swab, pore strips, and cyanoacrylate glue follicular biopsy, all sequenced with 16S rRNA sequencing (V1-V3) and whole-genome metagenomic sequencing (WGS). Sequencing method of choice influenced the detection of microbial profiles as WGS captured more species diversity, including viruses, compared to 16S sequencing. The relative abundance of bacterial or fungal species and overall diversity did not differ between sampling methods. However, the viral composition of the skin’s surface is unique compared to the follicle, suggesting distinct viral niches within the skin. P. acnes bacteria, ribotypes, and bacteriophages were identified equally by all sampling methods indicating that sampling method, whether for skin’s surface or follicle, does not impact P. acnes-related characterization and that all may be equally useful for acne-related research studies.

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