Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human microbiome studies should include wider diversity of populations, experts warn

Date:
May 11, 2014
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Microbial samples taken from populations living in the US and Tanzania reveal that the microbiome of the human hand is more varied than previously thought, according to new research. These findings suggest that the 'standard' hand microbiome varies depending on location and lifestyle. Results compared the microbes on the hands of women in the U.S. and Tanzania and found that organisms that have commonly been identified in prior human skin microbiome studies were highly abundant on U.S. hands, while the most abundant bacterial species on Tanzanian hands were associated with the environment, particularly soil.

Microbial samples taken from populations living in the U.S. and Tanzania reveal that the microbiome of the human hand is more varied than previously thought, according to new research published in the journal Microbiology. These findings suggest that the 'standard' hand microbiome varies depending on location and lifestyle.

Results compared the microbes on the hands of women in the U.S. and Tanzania and found that organisms that have commonly been identified in prior human skin microbiome studies were highly abundant on U.S. hands, while the most abundant bacterial species on Tanzanian hands were associated with the environment, particularly soil.

The team of researchers from Yale University, Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, took hand wash samples from 15 adult American women and 29 adult Tanzanian women to compare the species of microorganisms present. In the U.S. group, all participants were graduate students, 13 of white European origin, while two were Chinese-American. In the Tanzanian group, all women were caregivers to children under 5 years of age, living in a low-income urban environment.

Dr Jordan Peccia from Yale University, who led the work, said: "If we ever hope to understand how the microbiome affects health and how environmental interactions alter it, we have to expand research to cover different populations.

"The microbial population on the graduate students' hands looks like what we think the hand microbiome 'should look like', but we can't assume that the human microbiome is a standard thing. Our research has shown that the microbial population on the things people use to interact with the environment the most -- their hands -- is dramatically different between groups."

The predominant microbial groups found on the US hands included members of the Propionibacteriaceae, Staphylococcaceae and Streptococcacease groups of bacteria, similar to those previously found in hand microbiome studies. In contrast, the Tanzanian samples included members of the Rhodobacteraceae and Nocardiodaceae not previously thought to be common colonizers of human skin. These groups are commonly associated with soil and aquatic environments.

The lifestyle differences between the groups are notable. None of the U.S. group was a caregiver for young children and the group spent the majority of their time indoors. The Tanzanian women live in open-air dwellings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and spend large amounts of time outdoors.

These results help to expand human microbiome results beyond U.S. and European populations, demonstrating the important role that the environment plays in shaping the microbes on people's hands.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for General Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. Hospodsky, A. J. Pickering, T. R. Julian, D. Miller, S. Gorthala, A. B. Boehm, J. Peccia. Hand Bacterial Communities Vary Across Two Different Human Populations. Microbiology, 2014; DOI: 10.1099/mic.0.075390-0

Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Human microbiome studies should include wider diversity of populations, experts warn." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140511214845.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2014, May 11). Human microbiome studies should include wider diversity of populations, experts warn. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140511214845.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Human microbiome studies should include wider diversity of populations, experts warn." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140511214845.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins