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Table 3 Personalised (unique) bacterial taxa colonising male and female scalp and pubic hair

From: Metagenomic analyses of bacteria on human hairs: a qualitative assessment for applications in forensic science

Somatic origin (sex/individual)

Bacterial taxa

Natural habitat

Pubic (F. Ind.1)

Lactobacillus spp. ×1a (Lactobacillaceae)

Most prevalent genera in human vagina; also present in gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) [39]

Scalp (F. Ind.1)


Normal human flora of oro-nasopharynx [39]

Scalp (M. Ind.2)


Soil and aquatic habitats [44]

Scalp (M. Ind.2)

Streptococcus sobrinus (Streptococcaceae)

Implicated in dental pathologies [39]

Pubic (M. Ind.3)

Corynebacterium × 2 spp.a (Corynebacteriaceae)

Major inhabitants of skin flora [39]

Pubic (M. Ind.3) spp.

Tissierellaceae fam.nov.

Intestine, vagina, oral cavity; some general environmental [46]

Pubic (M. Ind.3)

Anaerococcus spp.a (Tissierellaceae fam.nov)

Human nasal cavity, skin and vagina [47]

Pubic (F. Ind.4)


Human oral cavity, intestinal tracts and environmental [48]

Scalp (F. Ind.5)


Activated sludge and waste water [49]

Scalp (F. Ind.5)


Widely distributed in environment; commensal on human skin [39]

Pubic (F. Ind.5)

Lactobacillus × 3 spp.a (Lactobacillaceae)

Prevalent and abundant in human vagina; also present in GIT [39]

Pubic (F. Ind.6)

Gardnerella spp.a (Bifidobacteriaceae)

Implicated in bacterial vaginosis (BV) [39]

Pubic (F. Ind.6)


Many species harmless symbionts of the human GIT [39]

Pubic (F. Ind.6)


Ubiquitous in nature, opportunistic pathogens [50]

Pubic (F. Ind.6)


Respiratory, alimentary and reproductive tracts [51]

Pubic (F. Ind.6)

Pseudomonas spp.a (Pseudomonadaceae)

Transients on human skin [39]

Pubic (M. Ind.7)


Marine environment [52]

Scalp (M. Ind.7)

Brachybacterium spp.a (Dermabacteraceae)

Variety of environments [53]

Scalp/Pubic (M. Ind.7)


Majority environmental [54], some human pathogens [55]

Scalp/Pubic (M. Ind.7)


Aquatic habitats [56]

Scalp/Pubic (M. Ind.7)


Widespread in nature; present in water [57, 58]

  1. Data shows sex and somatic origin of hairs that harboured personalised bacterial taxa, as well as the natural habitats of the taxa.
  2. aBacteria identified to genus or species are regarded as the most discriminatory. As such, these taxa may be of significance in forensic investigations.