Cultivation of human skin reveals numerous bacteria and at least one fungus to be normal inhabitants of this ecosystem; however, most of our knowledge about the microbiology of human skin was acquired decades ago. Modern techniques employing nucleic acid-based microbial identification methods demonstrate the limitations of cultivation for appreciating microbial diversity in many ecosystems. The application of modern molecular methods to the study of skin may offer new perspectives on the resident microfora, and new insights into the causes of antibiotic responsive dermatologic conditions, such as acne and rosacea.
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