Taking a Bite at the Shark Bite

leucas1News Release

Nova Southeastern University

Friday, February 1st, 2013

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NSU researchers study the bacteria of a shark’s mouth to improve medical treatment for shark bite victims

FT. LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla. — Researchers from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) are conducting a unique scientific study of bacteria found in the mouths of sharks to develop better medical treatment methods for shark bites victims.

Scientists from NSU’s College of Pharmacy working in collaboration with St. Mary’s Medical Center will be gathering data from sharks captured during The Blacktip Challenge, a 72-hour South Florida fishing tournament to fish blacktip sharks from the beach.  The tournament runs from Jan. 30 to Feb. 3.

In the last decade, Florida has consistently ranked amongst the highest worldwide in the number of shark attacks. The Sunshine State has accounted for about 25 percent of the approximate 100 incidents of reported shark bites a year.

Because of this, NSU researchers believe their findings are critical in helping the millions of ocean-goers each year that share the beaches and waterways with sharks. Their research, the first of its kind in the United States, could lead to groundbreaking research that will ultimately save lives from this tragedy.

“We are excited to gather scientific data from these incredible animals in order to learn more about the infecting bacteria from their bites and how to treat victims,” said Nathan Unger, Pharm.D., an assistant professor at NSU’s College of Pharmacy and the lead researcher on this project.

Source: NSU

Note by SYM :

Please see also the related Press Release Shark Bite Researchers Work With Local Shark Tournament

A similar scientific study conducted about 30 years ago :

Buck JD, Spotte S, Gadbaw JJ Jr.
Bacteriology of the teeth from a great white shark: potential medical implications for shark bite victims
J Clin Microbiol. 1984 Nov;20(5):849-51

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