AOB, Inflammatory Conditions, and Systemic Effects
The main premise of AOBiome is that human skin was historically colonized with Nitrosomonas, which are gram-negative bacteria deriving their energy solely from oxidation of ammonia and urea found in sweat to nitrite and nitric oxide (NO). To maximize ammonia utilization, Nitrosomonas produce unique enzymes on elaborately folded cell membranes, thereby increasing both their ammonia-oxidizing capacity and their energy output. This elaborate membrane architecture also renders Nitrosomonas particularly sensitive to membrane-disrupting chemicals, such as anionic surfactants found in modern soaps and detergents.
Before the advent of anionic surfactants, Nitrosomonas would have colonized our skin, our sweat glands in particular, constantly secreting low amounts of NO. Due to their particular sensitivity to detergents, however, they have been eradicated from our skin microbiome. As a consequence, we are dermatologically and systemically NO-deprived - in a mildly pro-inflammatory state, with a number of our systemic NO-mediated regulatory mechanisms out of balance. AOBiome aims to re-introduce Nitrosomonas to our skin's bacterial flora, restoring natural NO levels, stabilizing the NO-dependent signaling pathways and alleviating symptoms resulting from NO imbalance.
Nitrosomonas are naturally occurring in most aquatic and soil environments and seem to totally lack pathogenic potential, as indicated by the absence of pathogenicity factors and also evidenced by the complete lack of human infections reported to date. Since Nitrosomonas depend on ammonia and urea for their growth, their numbers on the skin are necessarily limited, and are naturally regulated by the amount of sweat the body produces. This ensures that the amount of NO produced would be relatively low, without any adverse effects. Because of its reactivity, the Nitrosomonas-produced NO will exert most of its effects locally, in the skin of the host. If desirable, however, one could eliminate the bacteria using a simple soap treatment.