The population of bacteria on your skin changes when you swim in the sea and may increase the risk of infection.
They collected samples of skin bacteria on the legs of nine persons before taking 10 minutes of swimming in the sea after they were completely air-dried after swimming, and then six and 24 hours after swimming.
Before swimming, all participants had different communities of skin bacteria or skin microbiome. After swimming, however, they all had similar communities on the skin that were completely different from those before swimming.
Six hours after swimming, participants' skin microbiotics returned to their pre-swim and were well advanced 24 hours later in the process, according to the study to be presented at the annual American Society for Microbiology annual meeting in San Francisco.
"Our data show for the first time that exposure to seawater can alter the diversity and composition of the human skin microbiome," said lead author Marisa Chattman Nielsen, Ph.D. Student at the University of California, Irvine.
"During swimming, bacteria were washed away by ordinary residents, while marine bacteria deposited on the skin," she said in a press release.
The study was inspired by earlier research This shows a link between swimming in the sea and infections as well as a high water quality on many beaches, which can lead to skin infections, ear infections as well as gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases.
"A very interesting finding was that Vibrio species ̵
The genus Vibrio includes the bacterium that causes cholera. Six hours after swimming Vibrio was still present in most participants, but only one participant had them 24 hours after swimming.
"While many Vibrio are non-pathogenic, the fact that we found them on the skin after swimming shows that" these pathogenic Vibrio species may remain on the skin after swimming, "Nielsen said.
The proportion of Vibrio species detected on the skin of the swimmers was more than ten times higher than that in seawater, suggesting that Vibrio, according to the researchers, has a specific affinity for attachment to human skin.
They found that skin is the body's first line of defense against contaminated water.
"Recent studies have shown that the microbiome of human skin plays an important role in immune system function, in localized and systemic diseases, and in infections," said Nielsen. "A healthy microbiome protects the host from colonization and infection by opportunistic and pathogenic microbes."
Research results presented at scientific meetings should be considered provisional until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are more concerned with recreational aquatic diseases.
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