Microbial Sequencing Analyses Suggest the Presence of a Fecal Veneer on Indoor Climbing Wall Holds
- 630 Downloads
Artificial climbing walls represent a unique indoor environment in which humans interact closely with a variety of surface types. Climbing wall holds may mediate transmission of organisms between individuals, and yet there are no studies that identify microorganisms present on these surfaces. In the current study, the microorganisms found on climbing wall holds were characterized by analysis of amplified SSU rRNA gene sequences. In contrast to many other studies of built environments, the majority of microorganisms on holds were most closely related to microbes annotated as being recovered from environmental sources, such as soil, with human skin also representing an important source. Regional patterns were evident as rRNA gene sequences from the marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus were abundant in gyms found within 16 km of the ocean. Enterobacteriaceae were present on 100 % of holds surveyed, and the members detected are commonly associated with fecal matter.
This research was performed, in part, by participants in the MBL Microbial Diversity Course in Woods Hole, MA, and was supported in part by the Howard Hughes Medical Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (2493), the National Science Foundation (DEB-091799), the US Department of Energy (DE-FG02-10ER13361), and the NASA Astrobiology Institute. We thank Carey (Trey) Snellings for assistance with culturing conducted at Appalachian State University. Finally, we want to acknowledge four anonymous climbing gym facility managers for allowing us to sample holds and climbing routes.
- 8.Caporaso JG, Kuczynski J, Stombaugh J, Bittinger K, Bushman FD, Costello EK, Fierer N, Pena AG, Goodrich JK, Gordon JI, Huttley GA, Kelley ST, Knights D, Koenig JE, Ley RE, Lozupone CA, McDonald D, Muegge BD, Pirrung M, Reeder J, Sevinsky JR, Tumbaugh PJ, Walters WA, Widmann J, Yatsunenko T, Zaneveld J, Knight R (2010) QIIME allows analysis of high-throughput community sequencing data. Nat Methods 7:335–336PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 10.CDC (2009) Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus among players on a high school football team- New York City, 2007. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 58:52–55Google Scholar
- 17.Felsenstein J (2004) PHYLIP (Phylogeny Inference Package) version 3.68.Distributed by the author Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, SeattleGoogle Scholar
- 42.Patel A, Fischer S, Calfee R, Plante M, Fadale P (2007) Locker room acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Orthopedics 30Google Scholar
- 48.Schloss PD, Westcott SL, Ryabin T, Hall JR, Hartmann M, Hollister EB, Lesniewski RA, Oakley BB, Parks DH, Robinson CJ (2009) Introducing mothur: open-source, platform-independent, community-supported software for describing and comparing microbial communities. Appl Environ Microbiol 75:7537–7541PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar