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Foot odor due to microbial metabolism and its control

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To characterize foot odor, we analyzed its components by sensory tests, isolated microorganisms that produce it, and evaluated the mechanism of the occurrence of foot odor. As a result, foot odor was found to be derived from isovaleric acid, which is produced when Staphylococcus epidermidis, a resident species of the normal cutaneous microbial flora, degrades leucine present in sweat. In addition, Bacillus subtilis was detected in the plantar skin of subjects with strong foot odor, and this species was shown to be closely associated with increased foot odor. Therefore, we screened various naturally occurring substances and fragrant agents that inhibit microbial production of foot odor without disturbing the normal microbial flora of the human skin. As a result, we identified citral, citronellal, and geraniol as fragrant agents that inhibit the generation of isovaleric acid at low concentrations.Key words: foot odor, microbial metabolism, isovaleric acid, leucine dehydrogenase.

Afin d'expliquer l'odeur de pieds, nous avons analysé ses composantes par tests sensoriels, nous avons isolé et les micro-organismes qui le produisent et avons évalué le mécanisme d'apparition de l'odeur de pieds. De ces travaux, il fut déterminé que l'odeur de pieds était dérivée de l'acide isovalérique qui est produite lorsque Staphylococcus epidermidis, une bactérie indigène de la microflore cutanée normale, dégrade la leucine présente dans la sueur. De plus, Bacillus subtilis fut détecté dans la peau plantaire des sujets ayant une forte odeur de pieds et il fut démontré que cette espèce était fortement associée à l'augmentation de l'odeur de pieds. Par conséquent, nous avons criblé diverses substances naturelles et agents fragrants qui inhiberaient la production microbienne d'odeurs de pieds sans déranger la microflore normale de la peau humaine. Nous avons ainsi identifié le citral, le citronellal et le geraniol comme agents fragrants inhibant la génération d'acide isovalérique à basses concentrations.Mots clés : odeurs de pieds, métabolisme microbien, acide isovalérique, leucine déshydogénase.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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