Arm Pit Bacteria
I am doing a science fair project on deodorants and
anti-perspirants- to see which one hinders bacterial growth more
effectively. Here's my problem, I cannot find what kind of bacteria
(mainly) flourishes in the axilla (armpit) region. I have been on many
different search engines- medical pages- and microbiology pages, and
unfortuantely cannot come up with any answers. My school's science fair
is March 3rd- so I am in desperate need of an answer!!! I need to be able
to order the type of bacteria soon. Thank you.
Try Staphylococcus epidermidis-it is a common organism that grows on the
skin. It is not pathogenic (disease-causing) and can be used by students.
You could try culturing your own armpit-use a sterile q-tip. Spread the
q-tip on the agar plate and then take some of your antiperspirant or
deodorant and make a dot in the middle of the plate. Incubate the plate and
see if the bacteria are repelled or are resistant. I would measure the size
of the zone so you can compare each type of deodorant, etc. You could also
check if different people's bacteria are more or less resistant, ie if the
same deodorant works for everyone. Each person's bacterial population are a
little different. This would require volunteers who would be willing to
stick a q-tip in their armpit! If you decide to do this, I would sample the
armpit when it is moist, before a shower (dry, clean skin won't have as much
bacteria). Good luck.
As you probably know sweat glands are of 2 types,
one of them, the one called apocrine is usually
associated with hair follicles and continously
secret fatty sweat in the gland tubule.When, due to
many factors the tubule wall contracts the fatty
secretion is expelled to the skin, where local
bacteria break it down into fatty acids that have
pungent and disagreable odor.
These glands are concentrated at the underarm (axilla)
and genital region.
Now for your question: bacteria are a general name
for micro-organisms that are found at all ecosystems
( but for the completely sterile ones)and even in some
habitats where no other forms of life can exist.
There are bacteria that causes and spread diseases,
and bacteria that are very useful.
The moist areas of the skin like the armpits can
have a large number of bacteria. As i found (reported
at Internet by Dr. Neal Chamberlain, specialist of
Microbiology at the Kirksville College of Medicine),
the most common bacteria on the skin are:
Proprionobacterium acnes, Staphylcoccus epidermidis,
Corynebacterium, Micrococcus, Peptostreptococcus
and various Neisseria species.
You mentioned your intention to order some bacteria
samples to make your tests, but maybe it will be
easier to make yourself a culture of the commom
bacteria, just looking around...
and good luck at the fair!
Thanks for asking NEWTON
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Update: June 2012