Research Article: Scalp bacterial shift in Alopecia areata

Date Published: April 11, 2019

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Daniela Pinto, Elisabetta Sorbellini, Barbara Marzani, Mariangela Rucco, Giammaria Giuliani, Fabio Rinaldi, Brenda A. Wilson.

http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0215206

Abstract

The role of microbial dysbiosis in scalp disease has been recently hypothesized. However, little information is available with regards to the association between microbial population on the scalp and hair diseases related to hair growth. Here we investigated bacterial communities in healthy and Alopecia areata (AA) subjects. The analysis of bacterial distribution at the genus level highlighted an increase of Propionibacterium in AA subjects alongside a general decrease of Staphylococcus. Analysis of log Relative abundance of main bacterial species inhabiting the scalp showed a significant increase of Propionibacterium acnes in AA subjects compared to control ones. AA scalp condition is also associated with a significant decrease of Staphylococcus epidermidis relative abundance. No significant changes were found for Staphylococcus aureus. Therefore, data from sequencing profiling of the bacterial population strongly support a different microbial composition of the different area surrounded hair follicle from the epidermis to hypodermis, highlighting differences between normal and AA affected the scalp. Our results highlight, for the first time, the presence of a microbial shift on the scalp of patients suffering from AA and gives the basis for a larger and more complete study of microbial population involvement in hair disorders.

Partial Text

Alopecia areata (AA) is the second most common type of hair loss disorder for human beings. It occurs in the form of a non-scarring alopecia which affects the scalp and, eventually, the entire body [1]. An incidence higher than 2% has been reported for AA, with a lifetime risk of 1.7% both in men and women [2].

In this study, we reported, for the first time, the relationship between microbial shift on the scalp and hair growth disorder, in particular, Alopecia areata. We conducted analysis by mean of qRT-PCR and 16S sequencing.

Our study highlighted, for the first time, the presence of a microbial shift on the scalp of patients suffering from AA and gives the basis for a larger and more complete study of microbial population involvement in hair disorders. Therefore, the reported findings as the availability of sophisticated and quick methods to evaluate the microbial composition of the scalp open to new therapeutic approaches in the management of hair disorders.

 

Source:

http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0215206

 

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