Sunday, November 03, 2019

Shark skin microbiome resists infection

No evidence of infection found in the bacterial community around shark wounds.


​A survey of the shark skin microbiome provides the first step toward understanding the remarkable resilience of shark wounds to infection.

In the wild, blacktip reef sharks are often seen bearing wounds, but they rarely exhibit obvious signs of infection around the wounds. As a first step toward understanding this phenomenon, an international team led by researchers at KAUST’s Red Sea Research Center investigated the microbial community living on the skin of sharks.

The team collected skin mucus samples from the backs and gills of wild-caught blacktip reef sharks around the Seychelles Islands. Next, they sequenced the 16S rRNA gene from these samples in order to identify the bacteria. Finally, they compared the bacterial communities from different samples to detect changes in response to injury.

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Image: Blacktip reef sharks in the wild are often seen bearing wounds, but they rarely exhibit obvious signs of infection around the wounds. This led researchers to investigate the microbial community living on the skin of sharks.
© 2019 Claudia Pogoreutz

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