Skin microbiome bacteria enriched following long sun exposure can reduce oxidative damage

Nurit Harel, Navit Ogen-Shtern, Leah Reshef, Dvora Biran, Eliora Z. Ron*, Uri Gophna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Sun exposure is harmful to the skin and increases the risk of skin aging and skin cancer. Here we examined the effects of daily exposure to sun radiation on the skin microbiome in order to determine whether skim microbiome bacteria can contribute to protection from solar damage. Skin swabs were collected from ten lifeguards before and after the summer to analyse the skin microbiome. The results indicate that specific skin microbiome bacteria were enriched following the seasonal sun exposure. Especially interesting were two bacterial families - Sphingomonas and Erythrobacteraceae – which may have the ability to protect against UV radiation as they produce potentially protective compounds. We concentrated on a Sphingomonas strain and could show that it was highly resistant to UV irradiation and was able to reduce reactive oxygen species levels in human keratinocytes. These results provide a proof-of-concept for the role of the skin microbiome in protection from solar radiation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104138
JournalResearch in Microbiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2023


FundersFunder number
Dead Sea Research Center of Tel Aviv University
ICA Israel and Tamar regional municipality
Porter family


    • Reactive oxygen species (ROS)
    • Skin health
    • Skin microbiome
    • Sun protection
    • Sun radiation
    • UV radiation


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