Men’s Beards Contain More Harmful Bacteria Than Dogs’ Fur, Small Study Suggests

Men's Beards Contain More Harmful Bacteria Than Dogs' Fur, Small Study Suggests

A pet with a bearded guy.

Credit: Shutterstock

A small European study has actually discovered that the typical guy’s beard is more loaded with human-pathogenic bacteria than the dirtiest part of a pet’s fur.

For the study, released in the February 2019 concern of the journal European Radiology, scientists evaluated skin and saliva samples from 18 bearded males (whose ages varied from 18 to 76), and fur and saliva samples from 30 canines (whose types varied from schnauzer to German shepherd), at a number of European healthcare facilities.

The scientists were searching for nests of human-pathogenic bacteria in both guy and canine — not in an effort to beard-shame the hirsute masses, however rather to evaluate whether it was safe for people to utilize the very same MRI scanners that canines had actually formerly utilized. [6 Superbugs to Watch Out For]

In truth, it was the people who were the dirtier clients. Not just did the males’s beards contain substantially more potentially-infectious microorganisms than the canines’ fur, however the males likewise left the scanners more polluted than the animals.

“As the MRI scanner used for both dogs and humans was routinely cleaned after animal scanning, there was substantially lower bacterial load compared with scanners used exclusively for humans,” the scientists composed in the study.

In their brand-new paper, the scientists evaluated canines that were arranged for “routine” MRI scanner consultations to search for brain and spinal column conditions, the authors composed. Since MRI scanners are too costly for the majority of veterinary centers to own and run, these tests were carried out at the radiology department of a European healthcare facility that carries out about 8,000 MRI scans of human clients every year.

The scientists swabbed each canine’s mouth for bacteria samples, then took an easy fur sample by rubbing an unique bacteria-collecting plate in between each canine’s shoulder blades (a “particularly unhygienic” area where skin infections are routinely experienced, the scientists composed). After the pooches finished their MRI scans, the scientists took samples from 3 areas in the scanner, too.

On the other hand, the group likewise gathered bacterial samples from the beards of healthcare facility clients who were due for MRI scans of their own. The beardos remained in fairly excellent health, and had actually not been hospitalized whenever in the previous year.

The tests revealed that all 18 males revealed “high microbial counts” on their skin and in their saliva, whereas just 23 of the 30 canines did, the scientists composed.

7 of the males and 4 of the canines checked favorable for human-pathogenic microorganisms — the type of bacteria that can make an individual ill if they colonize the incorrect part of the host’s body. These microorganisms consisted of Enterococcus faecalis, a typical gut bacteria that is understood to trigger infections (specifically urinary system infections) in people, and a number of cases of Staphylococcus aureus, a typical skin/mucous-colonizing bacteria that might reside on as much as 50% of all human grownups, however can trigger major infections if it gets in the blood stream.

Regardless of the relatively greater microbial counts in this small sample of bearded males, the takeaway from this study isn’t, “reach for that electric razor NOW, Rasputin!”; as the authors composed, “there is no reason to believe that women may harbor less bacteriological load than bearded men.”

Rather, it’s that people leave way more potentially-infectious bacteria behind in healthcare facilities than you want to envision — and just sterilizing a surface area is obviously insufficient to resolve the issue.

“The estimated number of healthcare associated infections (HAIs) in US hospitals was calculated to be approximately 1.7 million patients per year,” the authors composed. Around 100,000 individuals passed away as an outcome of those infections every year, the authors composed.

“The central question should perhaps not be whether we should allow dogs to undergo imaging in our hospitals,” the group concluded, “but rather we should focus on the knowledge and perception of hygiene and understand what poses real danger and risk to our patients.”

Initially released on Live Science.

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About the Author: Dr. James Goodall

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