Bacteria residing in and out of skin can protect humans against cancer, a new study suggests

A skin producing bacteria can help individuals protect against skin cancer, a new study suggests. Staphylococcus epidermis, a bacterium resides in and out of the skin helps in preventing the disease. It’s still unclear if the absence of this bacteria will trigger the growth and development of cancerous tissue.

Professor Richard Gallo, co-author of the study and researcher at the University of California says, “Presence of these microbes gives you natural protection or might be used to constrain the development of different cancerous tissues.”

Perhaps, the research findings of this study is bit different from the previous research. Beforehand, researchers found that Staphylococcus directly attacks certain bacteria that induce cancer. This research study implies that Staphylococcus epidermis produces a substance that kills off bacteria responsible for strep throat.

The substance produced had a similar structure as that of a DNA structure called as adenine. Gallo said, “We detected the nature of the chemical produced by this strain if it is effective to defeat against tumors.” The chemical released by the strain called 6-N-hydroxyaminopurine (6-HAP) held up the growth of DNA thus preventing multiplications and growing of cancerous cells.

When the chemical was tested in mice, they did not reveal any harm. Staphylococcus epidermis bacteria is commonly found in humans and 20 percent of the population is likely to have this strain on their skin producing 6-HAP. Production of this bacteria is very common among the population but not in every individual.

Julian Marchesi, professor of human microbiome who was not engaged in the study also appreciated the research findings. “Another important factor we need to think upon is how this skin microbiome is beneficial to our health. We further need to understand how these microbiomes play an important role in human biology. Next approach of the study will be to try these tests on humans so as to prove that this chemical is much effective in humans to fight against cancer.”