Fecal bacteria in beards: as germinated as toilets

Fecal bacteria in beards: as germinated as toilets

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Microbiologist finds fecal bacteria in beard smears

Fecal bacteria in the beard? What sounds disgusting, seems to be the bitter reality for some men, according to a study by the US TV station "Action 7". As the broadcaster reports, “a microbiologist was able to detect the smallest microorganisms in several samples, which are normally only found in toilets.” How can this be possible?

"Action 7" has samples from different beards analyzed
Are there more germs in the beard of some men than in the toilet? According to an investigation commissioned by the US broadcaster "Action 7" apparently already. As the TV station reports, "microbiologist John Golobic had analyzed a series of beard swabs" previously taken from "a handful of brave men". The surprising result: Many "normal" bacteria were found in several samples, but in some beards the expert was able to detect those that were comparable to those in toilets, according to the broadcaster. "Usually I'm not surprised, but it was me!" Said the expert.

Wash hands often and keep away from face
"These are things you would normally find in fecal matter," is how John Golobic describes his disgusting find. Even if some of the bacteria would not lead to disease, the result was somewhat disturbing: "It shows a level of impurity that is somewhat worrying." To avoid such contamination, golobic is recommended after a thorough beard wash and frequent hand washing. "Also try to keep your hands away from your face as much as possible," the tip said.

Large US study of hospital workers comes to a different conclusion
But a beard does not automatically mean an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and germs. A US team of researchers led by E. Wakeam from the Boston Center for Surgery and Public Health showed this in a study from last year. For these, the scientists compared the colonization rate of facial bacteria in 408 male hospital employees with and without facial hair. It was found that workers with facial hair were even less likely to be populated with Staphylococcus aureus (41.2% vs. 52.6%) and methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci (2.0% vs. 7.0%) than their colleagues without beards, said the Report in the "Journal of Hospital Infection". "Our results suggest that male hospital staff with facial hair no longer harbor potentially worrying bacteria than clean-shaven employees," the researchers concluded. (No)

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Image: Egon Häbich / pixelio.de

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