Table_1_Comparison of Healthy and Dandruff Scalp Microbiome Reveals the Role of Commensals in Scalp Health.docx

Several scalp microbiome studies from different populations have revealed the association of dandruff with bacterial and fungal dysbiosis. However, the functional role of scalp microbiota in scalp disorders and health remains scarcely explored. Here, we examined the bacterial and fungal diversity of the scalp microbiome and their potential functional role in the healthy and dandruff scalp of 140 Indian women. Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis emerged as the core bacterial species, where the former was associated with a healthy scalp and the latter with dandruff scalp. Along with the commonly occurring Malassezia species (M. restricta and M. globosa) on the scalp, a strikingly high association of dandruff with yet uncharacterized Malassezia species was observed in the core mycobiome. Functional analysis showed that the fungal microbiome was enriched in pathways majorly implicated in cell-host adhesion in the dandruff scalp, while the bacterial microbiome showed a conspicuous enrichment of pathways related to the synthesis and metabolism of amino acids, biotin, and other B-vitamins, which are reported as essential nutrients for hair growth. A systematic measurement of scalp clinical and physiological parameters was also carried out, which showed significant correlations with the microbiome and their associated functional pathways. The results point toward a new potential role of bacterial commensals in maintaining the scalp nutrient homoeostasis and highlights an important and yet unknown role of the scalp microbiome, similar to the gut microbiome. This study, therefore, provides new perspectives on the better understanding of the pathophysiology of dandruff.