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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 108-113

A study of alteration of nasal bacterial flora during diving

1 Department of ENT, INHS Kalyani, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of ENT, INHS Asvini, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anil Kaul
Department of ENT, INHS Asvini, Colaba, Mumbai - 400 005, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmms.jmms_47_17

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Context: Recent times have heralded increased underwater activities both for professional and recreational purposes. There is little data regarding alteration of the nasal bacterial flora during wet and dry diving. In view of these, this study was undertaken to study the effect of diving on the bacterial flora of human nose. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine bacterial flora present in the nose of divers and changes occurring due to the effect of pressure and humidity as a consequence of diving activity. Setting and Design: A prospective observational study was carried out in a Naval Medical Center to determine bacterial flora present in the nose of divers and any alteration occurring in the flora as a consequence of diving. Materials and Methods: The participants were divided into four groups: Group I (nonswimmers); Group II (swimmers); Group III (compressed air divers); and Group IV (wet divers). Bacteriological specimens were taken from the anterior nares of all subjects as per laid down the schedule and were examined for evidence of bacterial growth and the colony characteristics were noted. Statistical analysis used was Chi-square test (Epi InfoTM). Results: Gram-positive organisms again predominated in the bacteria isolated in the various groups. Staphylococcus epidermidis predominated the nasal flora. Few Gram-negative bacteria were also isolated during the course of the study. Conclusions: There is increase in nasal flora commensals, with Gram-positive bacteria being predominant, on exposure to diving.

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