Episode Summary

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

Jesse's takeaways

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.

Journal Paper

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

Subscribe (free) on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, RSS, or by email. Also available on the ASM Podcast Network app.

Support the show at Patreon. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.