Married Couple Share Most Bacteria, Say Researchers

Where do bacteria reign? In your doorknobs, light switches, floors, countertops- and about relationship.

Researchers have found that if you are married and have kids, you tend to share most of the microbial community, says a fascinating research and if you have pets, it changes the bacterial makeup with more plant and soil bacteria entering the house.

Microbiologist jack gilbert from us department of energy’s argonne national laboratory says, as people spend more and more time indoors, they wanted to map out the microbes that live in the homes.

As part of the home microbiome project, researchers followed seven families, which included 18 people, three dogs and one cat, over the course of six weeks.

During the research, the participants swabbed their hands, feet and noses daily to collect a sample of the microbial populations living in and on them. They also sampled surfaces in the house, including doorknobs, light switches, floors and countertops.

In one home where two of the three occupants were in a relationship with one another, the couple shared many more microbes.

Married couples and their young children also shared most of their microbial community.
Within a household, hands were the most likely to have similar microbes while noses showed more individual variation.

The research also suggests that when a person (and their microbes) leaves a house, the microbial community shifts noticeably in a matter of days.

Gilbert emphasized that it is quite possible that they were routinely exposed to harmful bacteria but it only causes diseases.

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