Feet Home to more than 100 Fungi

By  , BBC News
May 23, 2013

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Feet Home to more than 100 Fungi

Scientists have discovered that there are about 200 different types of fungi that exist in a person’s feet. Fungi live all over the human body, but especially under toenails, between toes and heels. Researchers have reported in the Nature journal that a new map of the body’s fungal diversity could combat skin problems like athlete’s foot.

A team led by the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, sequenced the DNA of fungi living on the skin at 14 different areas of the body in 10 healthy adults. Samples for the research were taken from ear canal, the back of the head, between the eyebrows, behind the ear, back, forearm, between the toes, toenails, groin, chest, nostrils, crook of the elbow and palm.

The data revealed that richness of fungus varies across the body and the most complex fungal habitat is the heel, which is home to 80 types of fungi. The researchers found that about 60 types of fungi in toenail clippings and 40 types of fungi between the toes.

Another favourite fungi spot is the palm, inside of the elbow and forearm. These areas support moderate level of fungi with each area breeding 18 to 32 types of fungi.

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