The make up of the bacterial community on the skin influences whether subjects developed pustules after intentional inoculation or whether the infection resolved itself.
These results suggest that at baseline, resolvers and pustule formers have distinct skin bacterial communities which change in response to infection and the resultant immune response.
OPEN ACCESS paper
IMPORTANCE Human skin is home to a diverse community of microorganisms, collectively known as the skin microbiome. Some resident bacteria are thought to protect the skin from infection by outcompeting pathogens for resources or by priming the immune system’s response to invaders. However, the influence of the skin microbiome on the susceptibility to or protection from infection has not been prospectively evaluated in humans. We characterized the skin microbiome before, during, and after experimental inoculation of the arm with Haemophilus ducreyi in matched volunteers who subsequently resolved the infection or formed abscesses. Our results suggest that the preinfection microbiomes of pustule formers and resolvers have distinct community structures which change in response to the progression of H. ducreyi infection to abscess formation.