The effect of lipids on the adherence of axillary aerobic coryneform bacteria


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Abstract

AimsA wide range of lipids are present on the skin surface of human beings and bacterial lipases are known to modify them. The microflora of the underarm (axilla) is often dominated by aerobic coryneforms and whilst many require lipids for growth, they appear not to be utilized as carbon sources. The aim of this study was to investigate the adherence aerobic coryneforms to lipids present on the skin surface of the human axilla to determine whether they contribute to colonization of the skin.MethodsAerobic coryneforms were grown in a defined synthetic medium in the presence of 14C-glucose to produce radio-labelled cells. Adherence to lipids was tested using a thin layer chromatography plate-based assay.Significance and Impact of the StudyThe mechanism of bacterial adhesion to skin lipids is unknown. The results of this study show that a significant proportion of cutaneous aerobic coryneform isolates from the axilla interact with skin lipids resulting in increased adherence, which may contribute to skin colonization.

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