AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Something’s In the Water

Global temperatures have been on the rise for generations now and this is no different for the UK and there are some quite interesting effects from it. The hotter temperatures may be bringing more people to the beaches despite the northern country not being known for sunny coasts however there is something else in the water that researchers from the University of Exeter couldn’t help but notice in their study.

What they found is not as cinematic as say a killer shark but they did find an organism, or rather organisms that are not typically found in their waters; two Vibrio bacteria. Vibrio rotiferianus and Vibrio jasicida have both “never been recorded in UK waters before”, and in a perfect world it would have stayed that way.  Not only can the bacteria be harmful to other sea life but it can be harmful to humans as well. As written in the study. “Vibrio bacteria can cause gastroenteritis when eaten in raw or undercooked shellfish” and can even cause “skin infections”. Due to rising global temperatures, there has been a great increase in Vibrio infections in both humans and sea life. beach, landscape, sea, coast, water, rock, ocean, sky, sunset, countryside, sunlight, morning, shore, wave, old, seaside, dusk, cove, tower, scenic, bay, landmark, historic, tourism, material, body of water, rocks, outdoors, uk, england, stones, hdr, clouds, fortress, beautiful, great britain, wind wave, dunstanburgh castle, Free Images In PxHere

Most simply put, as sea levels rise and the waters are warm enough for Vibrio bacteria to prosper, the bacteria will only grow. With this growth comes mutation and the emergence of new breeds from the same species of bacteria. This increases their genetic diversity and ultimately allows them to become a stronger species.

Not only can the bacteria be injected through seafood but also through sea water. If contaminated seawater were to enter one’s body through an open cavity, such as the mouth or an open wound, one runs the risk of being infected by the Vibrio bacteria.

While for now there is not an alarming amount of casualties due to the bacteria’s flourishing in the U.K, measures should be taken in order to make sure that never happens.

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1 Comment

  1. cytokinesav

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I knew global warming had drastic effects on the ecosystem but not this — the fact that harmful bacteria growth in the water is a direct result of global warming. I find that this situation is similar to the pandemic in the way that measures should be taken to contain the Vibrio bacteria’s growth. On doing further research on Vibrio’s effects, I saw that it is very likely to cause necrotizing fasciitis.. which often leads to amputations! I’ve known about this extremely harmful skin infection for years and was shocked to see it as an effect of this bacteria’s contact with humans. For me, it showed the true extent of harm this bacteria can cause. You briefly mentioned skin infections so I was curious on how bad they could be:
    A takeaway from this is that, like you said, “measures should be taken in order to make sure that [casualties] never happen.” Thank you for your insightful post. I found your title attention-grabbing which is why I decided to read it!

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