Archives of Clinical Microbiology

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Bacterial Infection of the Skin and Skin Microflora, Microbiome

Dr. Tabish Joshi*

Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) involve microbial invasion of the skin and underlying soft tissues. They have variable presentations, etiologies and severities. The challenge of SSTIs is to efficiently differentiate those cases that require immediate attention and intervention, whether medical or surgical, from those that are less severe. Approximately 7% to 10% of hospitalized patients are affected by SSTIs, and they are very common in the emergency care setting. The skin has an extremely diverse ecology of organisms that may produce infection. The clinical manifestations of SSTIs are the culmination of a two-step process involving invasion and the interaction of bacteria with host defences. The cardinal signs of SSTIs involve the features of inflammatory response, with other manifestations such as fever, rapid progression of lesions and bullae. The diagnosis of SSTIs is difficult because they may commonly masquerade as other clinical syndromes. To improve the management of SSTIs, the development of a severity stratification approach to determine site of care and appropriate empirical treatment is advantageous. The selection of antimicrobial therapy is predicated on knowledge of the potential pathogens, the instrument of entry, disease severity and clinical complications.

The skin is the human body’s largest organ, colonized by a diverse milieu of microorganisms, most of which are harmless or even beneficial to their host. Colonization is driven by the ecology of the skin surface, which is highly variable depending on topographical location, endogenous host factors and exogenous environmental factors. The cutaneous innate and adaptive immune responses can modulate the skin microbiota, but the microbiota also functions in educating the immune system. The development of molecular methods to identify microorganisms has led to an emerging view of the resident skin bacteria as highly diverse and variable. An enhanced understanding of the skin microbiome is necessary to gain insight into microbial involvement in human skin disorders and to enable novel promicrobial and antimicrobial therapeutic approaches for their treatment.


Bacterial; Infections; Management; Skin

Published Date: 2022-12-30; Received Date: 2022-12-02