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article imageHigh-contact sports show how germs spread

By Tim Sandle     Mar 16, 2013 in Science
Researchers swabbed the upper arms of roller derby players from three teams before and after their matches to show how bacteria can spread between players of 'high contact' sports.
Scientists based at the University of Oregon undertook a study whereby they profiled the bacteria carried on the skin of roller blade players before and after a game, according to the Scientist. Before the start of the game, it was found that the team members shared the same microbe profiles before the match. However, after the match, the the microbes between opposing teams had become mixed.
Using genetic testing, which examined the 16S ribosomal RNA genes from the bacterial samples, the researchers found that teams shared about 28% of their skin bacterial load before the game began. This compared with a similarity level of 32% afterwards, showing that around 4% of the skin bacteria had become mixed-up.
One of the scientists, James Meadow, told Science Insider that: "These teams came to the tournament from different places, and we were kind of shocked to find out that they had a unique team microbiome. This study highlights that our interactions with people around us do appear to change our microbiome.”
The microbiome is a term used to described the microbial population in a certain habitat, in this case human skin.
The results have been published this in the science magazine PeerJ in an article titled "Significant changes in the skin microbiome mediated by the sport of roller derby".
More about rollerblading, Bacteria, Sports, Contact, roller skating
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