Navigation Links
What impact does a day of roller derby have on our skin microbiome?

The human skin is home to countless microorganisms that we can't see, but these microbes help define who we are. Our invisible passengers known as the skin microbiome - contribute to our health in numerous ways including educating our immune system, protecting us from pathogens, and mediating skin disorders. In a new study, researchers investigated how the skin microbiome is transmitted between players in a contact sport, using roller derby as their model system.

The skin is the largest organ and an important barrier that regulates microbial entry into the human body. Despite the importance of the skin ecosystem to human health, we know very little about the forces that shape microbial structure and composition in the skin environment. The ways in which the skin microbiome is affected by external factors is a subject of renewed interest and so researchers hypothesized that contact sports could represent an ideal setting in which to study how human to human interactions influences microbial ecosystems. The researchers took their questions into the world of roller derby to explore how touching in a contact sport affects microbial transfer among athletes. DNA analysis revealed that bacterial communities predict team membership, with teammates sharing distinct microbial communities, and that when opposing teams competed in an hour-long bout their microbial communities became significantly more similar.

The study, titled "Significant changes in the skin microbiome mediated by the sport of roller derby," was published today in PeerJ, a new peer-reviewed open access journal in which all articles are freely available to everyone. The research was led by James F. Meadow of the 'Biology and the Built Environment Center' at the University of Oregon, in a collaboration that included the Center's director Jessica Green, who is a former skater on the Emerald City Roller Girls in Eugene, Oregon, where the studied tournament was held. The idea of working with local athletes was sparked by co-author Keith Herkert while working on his undergraduate honors thesis project in the Green lab. Teams involved in this study were from Eugene, OR (Emerald City Roller Girls); Washington, DC (DC Roller Girls) and San Jose, CA (Silicon Valley Roller Girls) and thus represented geographically separate groups.

Differences among teams' unique skin microbiomes -- determined by pre- and post-game swabs taken from exposed upper arms -- were driven in part "by the presence of unique indicator taxa that are commonly associated with human skin, gut, mouth and respiratory tract." Brevibacterium, for example, was found to be the strongest indicator for the DC Roller Girls of Washington, D.C. Researchers found that microbial communities on the host team in Eugene, Oregon, more closely resembled surface samples taken from the local roller rink itself.

The mixing of bacterial communities during a bout, the researchers found, was likely the result of skin-to-skin contact. "Human to human contact is the most parsimonious interpretation for the significant changes in skin microbiome we observed," the researchers concluded. Scientists have long known that bacteria can spread among people due to contact. This study is the first to illustrate the promise of using contact sports to understand how human interactions can influence our microbiome.

Population growth is likely to increase the rate of person-to-person contact in expanding urban areas. Studying these skin ecosystems could have implications for health care, disease transmission and general understanding of urban environmental microbiology.


Contact: James Meadow

Related biology news :

1. Pittsburghs leaky faucet: How aging sewers are impacting urban watersheds
2. Environmental change impacts on migratory shorebirds differ for males and females
3. Sequester will have a devastating impact on americas research enterprise
4. Wayne State study shows airborne dust in urban areas impacts lead levels in children
5. WCS Adirondack Park study shows exurban residences impact bird communities up to 200 meters away
6. Scientists publish analysis of algae parasite impact on algae biofuel in PLOS ONE
7. Extreme winters impact fish negatively
8. Stem cell source an important factor, impacting ability to treat myocardial infarction
9. Impact of stem cell transplantation location in brain a crucial factor for cell survival
10. Physicians belief about obesity causes impacts advice and care
11. Climate change impacts to US coasts threaten public health, safety and economy
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   Growing need ... analytical tools has been paving the way for ... determination of discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, ... being predominantly used in medical applications, however, their ... sectors due to continuous emphasis on improving product ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... YORK , Nov. 10, 2015 ... to behavioral biometrics that helps to identify and ... fraud. Signature is considered as the secure and ... the identification of a particular individual because each ... more accurate results especially when dynamic signature of ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... New York , November 4, 2015 ... to a new market report published by Transparency Market ... Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global ... of US$ 30.3 bn by 2022. The market is ... the forecast period from 2015 to 2022. Rising security ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... A long-standing partnership ... Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. ... OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, November 24, 2015, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... The Global Genomics Industry ... and in-depth study on the current state of ... ) , The report provides ... classifications, applications and industry chain structure. The Genomics ... including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, and key ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia , Nov. 24, 2015 ... the global contract research organisation (CRO) market. The ... to result in lower margins but higher volume ... With increased capacity and scale, however, margins in ... Contract Research Organisation (CRO) Market ( ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: ... be speaking at the following conference, and invited investors ... York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at ... York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at ... Healthcare Conference, New York, NY ...
Breaking Biology Technology: