March 13, 2013
THE DANGERS OF CONTACT SPORTS: Roller derby skaters trade bumps, bruises — and bacteria.
After a DNA analysis, the researchers found that teams had similar, distinct microbial communities. “For example, if we had picked a player out at random before they skated in the tournament, I probably could have told you what team she played on,” Meadow says. The samples for the D.C. team, for example, contained Brevibacterim, and the samples from the Oregon skaters were similar to the surface samples taken from their home track. But after the teams competed, the hour-long bout mixed up their microbes, leaving opposing teams with more similar-looking microbial communities, the analysis found. Specifically, six different kinds of bacteria – Strepococcus, Sphingomonas, Eubacterium, Porphyromonas, Aerococcus and Methylobacterium – were shared by competing teams after, but not before, the bout.