An In vitro Model for Bacterial Growth on Human Stratum Corneum
Danique A. van der Krieken, Thomas H.A. Ederveen, Sacha A.F.T. van Hijum, Patrick A.M. Jansen, Willem J.G. Melchers, Paul T.J Scheepers, Joost Schalkwijk, Patrick L.J.M. Zeeuwen
The diversity and dynamics of the skin microbiome in health and disease have been studied recently, but adequate model systems to study skin microbiotas in vitro are largely lacking. We developed an in vitro system that mimics human stratum corneum, using human callus as substrate and nutrient source for bacterial growth. The growth of several commensal and pathogenic bacterial strains was measured for up to one week by counting colony-forming units or by quantitative PCR with strain-specific primers. Human skin pathogens were found to survive amidst a minimal microbiome consisting of 2 major skin commensals: Staphylococcus epidermidis and Propionibacterium acnes. In addition, complete microbiomes, taken from the backs of healthy volunteers, were inoculated and maintained using this system. This model may enable the modulation of skin microbiomes in vitro and allow testing of pathogens, biological agents and antibiotics in a medium-throughput format.