Going for a swim in the ocean can change someone's skin microbiome for at least a day, New Scientist reports.
Researchers led by the University of California, Irvine's Marisa Nielsen swabbed the skin of volunteers before they went swimming, after their skin air dried following a 10-minute ocean swim, six hours after their swim, and 24 hours after swimming. They performed 16S rRNA gene V4 variable region sequencing on these samples. In their findings, presented at ASM Microbe, Nielsen and her team found that ocean bacteria could be found on participants' skin after swimming and was still detectable a day later, though the skin microbiome was returning to more closely resemble baseline.
New Scientist notes that having ocean bacteria on the skin isn't necessarily problematic among healthy individuals, though the researchers did find potential pathogens.
Nielsen isn't calling for people to stop swimming it the ocean, it adds. "What I recommend is a post-swim shower," she tells New Scientist.