Research ArticleMICROBIOLOGY

Fragile skin microbiomes in megacities are assembled by a predominantly niche-based process

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  07 Mar 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 3, e1701581
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701581

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text


Given the higher incidence of skin diseases in more urbanized populations and its association with the skin microbiome, we questioned how the skin microbiome differed depending on the degree of urbanization. Skin microbiomes of 231 healthy subjects in five large cities in China varied mainly with environment and socioeconomic status of the cities in question. The differences among microbiomes could be explained by the predominantly niche-based assembly of microbial communities, which was supported by a dominance test, β-null deviation, and edge-length abundance distribution. Networks among microbes in larger cities were more fragile, which may contribute to the higher incidence of skin diseases in more urbanized environments. These results suggest that microbial ecological theory can provide a framework for understanding crucial health-associated features of the human microbiome.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text