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Skin bacteria different in diabetic mice

In people with diabetes, wrong microbes on skin could make wounds slow to heal

8:36am, October 24, 2009

HONOLULU – Too much of the wrong type of skin bacteria may keep diabetics from healing, new research suggests.

People with diabetes have a notoriously hard time healing from skin wounds. New research on diabetic mice suggests that bacteria normally present on healthy skin may play a role in wound healing, says Elizabeth Grice, a researcher at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Md. Grice presented results of a study comparing bacterial diversity on the skin of diabetic and normal mice October 23 during the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics.

The work aims to find out how bacteria and other microorganisms on the skin — known collectively as the skin microbiome — affect health.

Grice and her colleagues had recently completed a survey of bacteria populating the skin of healthy people and found a wealth of diversity from individual to individual and from body part to body part.

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