Science & Nature Shark wounds rarely become infected thanks to germs living...

Shark wounds rarely become infected thanks to germs living on its skin, study finds

-

- Advertisment -

Shark wounds rarely become infected thanks to a community of GERMS living on its skin, study finds

  • Wounds on sharks in the wild have been found to be infectious free 
  • Experts collected mucus from 44 different sharks in the Indian Ocean 
  • They found a community of germs living on their skin that fights infection
  • The composition includes bacteria, fungi and viruses

By Stacy Liberatore For Dailymail.com

Published: | Updated:

Sharks are found to bear wounds, but rarely exhibit infections, leading researchers to question what secretes its skin may be holding.

A team has uncovered a community of germs living on the underwater predator’s skin that keeps wounds clean of contamination.

These infection-resistant microbes consist of bacteria, fungi and viruses, but the composition varies depending on the shark’s location and environment.

The study was conducted by researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, which began by collecting mucus samples from the backs and gills of wild-caught blacktip reef sharks around the Seychelles Islands.

The islands are located in the Indian Ocean and the team took 88 different samples from 44 sharks in five different locations. 

Scroll down for video 

A team uncovered a community of germs living on the underwater predator’s skin that keeps wounds clean of contamination. These infection-resistant microbes consist of bacteria, fungi and viruses, but the composition varies depending on the shark’s location and environment

‘The black-tip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus), a medium-sized and relatively common Indo-Pacific predator, can often be observed in the wild bearing severe skin insults, such as deep open wounds,’ reads the study published in the scientific journal Animal Microbiome.

‘At the same time, this species seemingly exhibits a highly developed capacity for rapid wound healing after skin injury.’

‘In this context, it is important to understand the contribution of the resident bacterial community on the skin to such properties.’

After collecting mucus from the sharks, researchers sequenced the 16S rRNA gene from these samples in order to identify the bacteria.

The study was conducted by researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, which began by collecting mucus samples from the backs and gills of wild-caught blacktip reef sharks around the Seychelles Islands

After collecting mucus from the sharks, researchers sequenced the 16S rRNA gene from these samples in order to identify the bacteria

They then compared the bacterial communities from different samples to detect changes in response to injury.

‘The majority of bacterial sequences on the phylum level were assigned to Proteobacteria (63.4%), Bacteroidetes (24.0%), Actinobacteria (6.1%), Firmicutes (5.3%), and others (1.2%),’ reads the study.

The analysis revealed no difference between the bacterial communities on injured skin on gills and uninjured gills or backs – there was not any sign of infection around the founds.

Claudia Pogoreutz, the postdoctoral fellow who led the study, said: ‘We were surprised not to find any substantial change in the skin bacterial communities.’

‘This suggests shark skin doesn’t become infected easily and that the native bacterial community of the skin can be maintained even after injury.’

The team collected mucus samples from the backs and gills of wild-caught blacktip reef sharks around the Seychelles Islands

Although the areas where the sharks resided were just a few miles apart hey could be relatively isolated from each other by factors, such as ocean currents and the reluctance of blacktip reef sharks to move between habitats or cross deeper straits

‘We really need to delve deeper into bacterial functions and innate immunity of sharks to understand what is really going on and how wound healing in sharks is mediated.’

The team was surprised to find the bacterial compositions varied in sharks that were sampled in different locations.

Although the areas where the sharks resided were just a few miles apart hey could be relatively isolated from each other by factors, such as ocean currents and the reluctance of blacktip reef sharks to move between habitats or cross deeper straits.

Researchers believe these difference may be a result of the shark’s ambient environment, such as temperature, population density, nutrient availability or pollution.

However, the team noted that they cannot rule out the possibility that the changes could provide an adaptive benefit to the sharks.

HOW SHARKS EARNED THEIR RUTHLESS REPUTATION

Sharks are the most efficient predators on earth and have long terrified humans.

Their basic design has never really changed over the course of 200million years and they are considered to be complex and intelligent.

Their teeth are fear factor number one, with the great white’s teeth growing up to two-and-a-half inches in length.

Their prey are impaled on the pointed teeth of the lower jaw where they saw away sections of the flesh. The serrated edges of the teeth help with this process.

Their teeth are brittle and are constantly breaking off but are also constantly regrowing and on average there are 15 rows of teeth present in the mouth at one time.

Sharks are the most efficient predators on earth. Their basic design has never really changed over the course of 200million years

Their speed is fear factor number two. 

They are very fast in the water compared to humans with the mako shark able to reach an incredible 60mph in bursts.

The great white can reach speeds of 25mph. 

By comparison, 5mph is the fastest a human being can reach.

A shark’s power and size terrifies us, too.   

The great white shark can grow up to 20 feet and while it has no particular taste for humans even an exploratory bite is enough to cut a man in half.

Most sharks release a human after its first bite but sometimes, that’s all it take to kill a person.   

However, sharks have far more reason to be afraid of humans. We kill up to a million of them a year, often just cutting off their fins to make into soup and throwing the rest of the shark back into the water, where it starves or drowns. 

Dailymail.co.uk: Continue reading…

Latest news

Fans react to Billy Magnussen Aladdin spinoff after Mena Massoud news

Welcome! Meredith collects data to deliver the best content, services, and personalized digital ads. We partner with third party advertisers, who may use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on sites and applications across devices, both on our sites and across the Internet. You always have the choice to experience our sites without…

Ron Leibman dead: Friends, Angels in America actor dies at 82

Welcome! Meredith collects data to deliver the best content, services, and personalized digital ads. We partner with third party advertisers, who may use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on sites and applications across devices, both on our sites and across the Internet. You always have the choice to experience our sites without…

Man City vs Man Utd LIVE: Martial scores second after Rashford nets VAR pen leaving City stunned

CHELSEA fell to a fifth defeat of the season as Everton produced a spirited performance in Duncan Ferguson's first game in charge. Richarlison and a Dominic Calvert-Lewin double made it two defeats in three games for the Blues - who only recently found out they could sign players in January. The Court of Arbitration for…

Arsenal financial results: Gunners reveal £23.5m loss for 2018-19

Arsenal are 10th in the Premier League tableArsenal have revealed a pre-tax loss of £23.5m for the year to 31 May, compared with a £97.4m profit 12 months earlier.The reversal is attributed to revenue from outgoing transfers reducing from £122.3m to £16.8m.The Premier League club says average annual profit club from player sales over the…
- Advertisement -

Permanent hair dyes and straighteners may increase breast cancer risk

Using permanent hair dye and/or hair straightening products may increase one’s risk of developing breast cancer, a new study claims. The risk was found to particularly impact black women based on data from more than 46,700 women who participated in the Sister Study. All of the women were likewise at genetic risk of developing breast…

Notes on the 20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa

PHOTO: ICASA RWANDA Good politics and governance have everything to do with health – President Paul Kagame. The 20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs on Africa commenced on Monday, the 2nd of December 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. The official opening ceremony of the biggest conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa was a gathering…

Must read

- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you