Skin microbiome of people living at the Dead Sea area – The lowest place on earth

Nurit Harel, Leah Reshef, Dvora Biran, Eliora Z. Ron*, Uri Gophna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Dead Sea is a salt lake with surface water at about 430 m below sea level and considered the lowest place on Earth. The Dead Sea basin is characterized by relatively high temperatures, attenuated UV radiation and the air above it has a relatively high-salt aerosol content. When we compared the skin microbiome of individuals from the hot, salty and arid Dead Sea area with that of individuals from the humid Mediterranean regions we observed a significantly lower bacterial diversity in the Dead Sea group as well as distinct differences in the composition of bacterial species. Our results suggest that these factors have a profound effect on the skin microbiome. Further study is required to understand how the local environment influences the skin microbiome, as well as the functional implications of these effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104059
JournalResearch in Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Bacterial diversity
  • Dead Sea area
  • Skin microbiome


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