Heart, kidneys and liver are the ones that come to our mind at the mention of the word ’organ’. While the skin is present all over our body how many of you are aware that the skin is an organ let alone the fact that it is the largest organ in the human body. Each of us are blessed with a different skin type which doesn’t only include skin color but also its texture and a vast array of microorganisms that reside on it. These microbes don’t stay on the skin forever as the skin renews itself occasionally thereby shedding away these organisms. While most of them are not harmful, some of them are even beneficial helping in secreting antibacterial substances or preventing pathogen colonization and some others harmful causing diseases and infections. We do know that a newborn’s gastrointestinal tract contains millions of microbes that are initially acquired from the mother through breastfeeding and also environmental exposure and the same is true in the case of skin’s microbiome too. Once the initial colonization is complete, the microbiome composition keeps varying in response to factors intrinsic and extrinsic to the host. The host of microbiomes present varies from individual to individual and also from location to location on the individual.
Probiotics and prebiotics are dominating the nutrition world right now for their good health. Probiotics are good microorganisms that are ingested by an individual to enable a healthy GI tract while prebiotics are ingredients that support the growth of these good microorganisms. Dietary requirements of microorganisms vary between species and an agent that exhibits prebiotic activity on a particular microorganism might not exhibit the same prebiotic effect on another one. We are in an advanced world where lifespan is rapidly growing and people are living well beyond 65 years. More than 566 million people are above the age of 65 presently and the population is estimated to be 1.5 billion by 2050. But within these individuals’ life duration they are expected to witness increased hospital times and repeated exposure to antibiotics. Infections are responsible for a third of the mortality rates in elderly population and this can be attributed to changes in immune system that become less effective in handling microbial infections. The microbiome of a person’s skin comes of use here as altering it and enhancing the good bacteria content has the potential to avoid infection, reduce their presence and effect. So, enhancing the health of an individual’s skin becomes a priority now and the invention in this patent provides a method for doing exactly the same.
The invention here aims at using bacteria that are modified to enhance characteristics that we believe are advantageous for the skin microbiome and health of the individual which includes bacteria that have been modified using a CRISPR-Cas9 and/or Cpf1 system. Rather than altering the human genome the invention here tries to modify the skin microbiome to enhance health. The invention might include a method for altering the skin’s microbiome by administering an effective amount of bacterial formulation on the skin of the individual. For instance, if the subject is a newform the formulation which might be an ointment, lotion or gel is rubbed onto the newborn’s skin within 6 hours of birth to address certain concerns in the newborn. The bacteria added in the formulation depend on the diseases or concerns that are addressed. The formulation might be applied within 24 hours of birth, within 6 hours of birth, within 3 hours of birth or within even an hour of birth even in the form of a spray or mist. It depends on the mother to choose for her baby-either rely on chances to the presence of critical microbes that form the immune system or use a predetermined formulation that contains a specific combination of microbes which help the newborn’s immune system to react to the microbes in the predetermined formulation helping the baby get equipped with a more variant immune tolerance profile. A specific aspect of this invention relates to the treatment of acne-a common skin problem that accounts for a quarter of dermatologists’ patient volume. Acne has a tremendous impact on the person’s quality of life upsetting his/her emotional as well as social well-being. Bacteria selected in the formulation help relieve acne problem when applied onto the individual’s skin and these are generally ammonia oxidizing bacteria. The invention is also directed at incorporating bacteria into various skin-care products, deodorants, sunscreens, fragrances and those for oral or dental hygiene and hair care products.
Generally, we use anti-bacterial agents to kill bacteria which also kills useful bacteria on the person’s skin in this process. But the present invention aims at intentionally exposing the skin to microbes (good bacteria) to treat skin infections, diaper rash and urinary/vaginal infections. All gram-negative bacteria are disease producing and one aspect of this invention is aimed at reducing the number of gram-negative bacteria on a person’s skin by adjusting the overall pH of the skin tissue region. We do joke that mosquitoes love certain people’s skins and this invention has proved it. In one embodiment the bacteria are modified to express certain compounds that deter mosquitoes from contacting human skin.
The present invention plays a key role in our daily lives helping us enhance our quality of life by enhancing skin health. The patent was published on May 4th, 2017 and for more details on this invention please visit the following sites:
Unites States Patent & Trademark Office: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=114&f=G&l=50&d=PTXT&p=3&S1=((health+AND+exercise)+AND+fitness)&OS=health+AND+exercise+AND+fitness&RS=((health+AND+exercise)+AND+fitness)
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US195462458&_cid=P10-JYH7PR-65448-1
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