The temporal dynamics of bacterial communities across human anterior nares

Environ Microbiol Rep. 2012 Feb;4(1):126-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-2229.2011.00313.x. Epub 2011 Dec 12.


The anterior nares (nostrils), are an important niche for bacterial colonization by both commensals and opportunistic pathogens. Here the temporal dynamics and variation of the global nasal bacterial community across 25 healthy volunteers was evaluated over 15 months. Overall, there was a global seasonal shift in bacterial community structure. Such a temporal shift was also strongly evident in the abundances of species such as Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis. However, such species dynamics over time was also inter-individual-dependent, and both individuals with highly stable communities and those with highly flexible communities could be defined. Even though the bacterial community of individual volunteers was thus generally variable over time and permanent carriage of a given species was seldomly observed, various species previously defined as constituting the core bacterial community could be identified as persistent in a subset of the volunteers suggesting that these same species also constitute to a 'temporal' core community.