Contact with soil materials and moss causes significant, though short-term, changes in the skin microbiota!
Thanks to Dr. Mira Grönroos for her contribution!
Microbe of the episode
Microbe of the episode: Leonurus mosaic virus
Exposure to microbes throughout life is thought to help calibrate the immune system to some extent, reducing the risk of allergies and asthma without losing defense against pathogens. In this study, rubbing soil or packets of moss on the skin changed the composition of the skin microbiota temporarily, so this may be a way to help with this important type of exposure, but it is not yet known how to achieve optimal long-term effects.
Grönroos M, Parajuli A, Laitinen OH, Roslund MI, Vari HK, Hyöty H, Puhakka R, Sinkkonen A. 2019. Short-term direct contact with soil and plant materials leads to an immediate increase in diversity of skin microbiota. MicrobiologyOpen 8:e00645.
Other interesting stories
- Cadmium-resistant microbes can help plants take up more cadmium to clean up soil (paper)
- Plant symbionts acquired genes that turned them into insect pathogens (paper)
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