Immune mediated shaping of microflora community composition depends on barrier site

Felix Scholz, Brian D. Badgley, Michael J. Sadowsky, Daniel H. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Barrier surfaces, such as the intestinal lining and the skin, are colonized by a diverse community of commensal microorganisms. Although commensal microorganisms clearly impact the host immune system, whether the immune system also shapes the commensal community is poorly understood. We used 16S rDNA deep sequencing to test whether mice with specific immune defects have an altered commensal microflora. Initially, skin swabs were obtained from wild-type and Langerhans Cell (LC) deficient mice. Despite the intimate contacts that LC make with the upper epidermis, no significant differences were observed in microbial community composition. Similarly, the skin of MyD88/TRIF-/-, Rag1-/-and heterozygous littermate controls showed no alteration in their commensal communities. Next we examined mouth swabs and feces. We did not find a difference in the MyD88/TRIF-/- mice. However, we did observe a significant shift in the microbial composition in the feces and mouths of Rag1-/- mice. Thus, we conclude that the adaptive immune system modulates the microbial composition at mucosal surfaces in the steady-state but LC, adaptive immunity, and MyD88-dependent innate responses do not affect the skin microbiome revealing a major distinction between barrier sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere84019
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 8 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Immune mediated shaping of microflora community composition depends on barrier site'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this