On the complexity of shark bite wounds: From associated bacteria to trauma management and wound repair

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Abstract

The mouth of a shark is a breeding ground for a large variety of bacteria which can easily get transferred onto a human body in the event of a shark bite. Here, we review infections originating from shark oral bacterial flora, which originate from the microbiome of its prey, as well as from the surroundings where an incident takes place. We use the example of an incident which occurred in an aquarium involving a sandtiger shark, Carcharias taurus. In addition to a succinct analysis and interpretation of the wound and recovery process, an overview of currently known bacteria associated with shark bite wounds is given, as well as a summary of the effects of various previously tested antibiotics on bacteria derived from blacktip sharks, Carcharhinus limbatus, bull sharks, C. leucas, and tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE

Therapeutic study, level V.

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