Swimming in ocean ups infection risk: Study

San Francisco: Swimming in the ocean alters the skin microbiome and increases the risk of infection including that of the ear and skin, researchers said. In the study presented at the ASM Microbe 2019, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, researchers demonstrated that changes in the microbiome can leave the host susceptible to infection.

"Our data demonstrated for the first time that ocean water exposure can alter the diversity and composition of the human skin microbiome that plays an important role in immune system function, localized and systemic diseases," said Marisa Chattman Nielsen, PhD student at the University of California. Researchers also found that exposure to ocean waters can cause gastrointestinal and respiratory illness, ear infections, and skin infections.

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