Initial characterization of the pig skin bacteriome and its effect on in vitro models of wound healing

Matthew K. McIntyre, Trent J. Peacock, Kevin S. Akers, David M. Burmeister

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29 Scopus citations


Elucidating the roles and composition of the human skin microbiome has revealed a delicate interplay between resident microbes and wound healing. Evolutionarily speaking, normal cutaneous flora likely has been selected for because it potentiates or, at minimum, does not impede wound healing. While pigs are the gold standard model for wound healing studies, the porcine skin microbiome has not been studied in detail. Herein, we performed 16S rDNA sequencing to characterize the pig skin bacteriome at several anatomical locations. Additionally, we used bacterial conditioned-media with in vitro techniques to examine the paracrine effects of bacterial-derived proteins on human keratinocytes (NHEK) and fibroblasts (NHDF). We found that at the phyla level, the pig skin bacteriome is similar to that of humans and largely consists of Firmicutes (55.6%), Bacteroidetes (20.8%), Actinobacteria (13.3%), and Proteobacteria (5.1%) however species-level differences between anatomical locations exist. Studies of bacterial supernatant revealed location-dependent effects on NHDF migration and NHEK apoptosis and growth factor release. These results expand the limited knowledge of the cutaneous bacteriome of healthy swine, and suggest that naturally occurring bacterial flora affects wound healing differentially depending on anatomical location. Ultimately, the pig might be considered the best surrogate for not only wound healing studies but also the cutaneous microbiome. This would not only facilitate investigations into the microbiome's role in recovery from injury, but also provide microbial targets for enhancing or accelerating wound healing.This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0166176
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


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