Kent State Study Cited in Men’s Health Mag, Other Popular Pubs

CPM Associate Professor Mark Dalman’s study of bacteria in area gyms was cited or referenced in numerous publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Men’s Health Magazine.

Environmental swabs were taken from 288 gym surfaces at several fitness facilities across Northeast Ohio, including Cross-Fit type centers, traditional iron gyms, community center-based and hospital-associated facilities.

Samples were taken from 18 different surfaces at each facility to look at not only whether Staphylococcus aureus was present on these various surfaces but also PCR was used to identify what strain types were present along with the bacteria’s antibiotic resistance profiles (MRSA- multidrug resistant Staph. Aureus) is a huge concern.

Titled, “Characterizing the Molecular Epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus Across and Within Fitness Facility Types,” the pilot study indicated that all facility types were contaminated by methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and that additional studies are needed to characterize the microbiome structure of surfaces at different fitness facility types and the patrons at these facilities.

The most surprising part of the study showed that the most frequently touched surfaces are often the least wiped surfaces at the gym. The medicine ball was the most contaminated. Though there were some slight trending differences between the types of gyms, future studies need to expand this to include cleaning regimens into how this modifies presence of bacteria at these different gym types, especially considering the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Dalman and his team of researchers at CPM and CPH studied the presence of Staphylococcus aureus, a common bacterium found in the nose and throat of healthy individuals that presents risk factors for infection and death. View the entire study.

“We investigated environmental contamination of fitness facilities with staphylococcus aureus in order to determine molecular types and antibiotic susceptibility profiles of contaminates that may be transmitted to facility patrons,” said Dalman. “Many studies have strictly looked at gyms as a singular entity, our study parsed these gym types out to better understand that not all gyms are equally contaminated nor are the strains and antibiotic resistance profiles of these bacteria at these gyms the same. Just as the current Pandemic has at least caused more individuals and businesses to begin to have conversations about cleanliness in viral transmission, so too should the same conversations begin regarding bacterial contamination.”

Dalman also indicated he was recently funded by The Podiatry Foundation to study how analgesics impact a unique subset of individuals: red-heads. He will be looking at the underlying genome of these individuals and the corresponding microbiome composition with co-PI Marie Blazer, DPM and the team.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 6:24am
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 6:26am