Bearded men carry more germs than dogs, including deadly bacteria in facial down, study finds
MEN with beards carry more germs than dogs, including deadly bacteria in their facial down, according to a hair-raising study.
The researchers found that nearly half of all the barbs sampled harbored insects dangerous to human health.
Last year’s study was trying to determine if there was a risk of humans contracting a dog-transmitted disease from an MRI scanner also used for examinations by vets, Mail On Sunday reports.
By examining the beards of 18 men and the necks of 30 dogs of several breeds, the scientists found that even the dogs had lower levels of microbes than the beards studied.
Professor Andreas Gutzeit, from the Swiss Hirslanden Clinic, said: “Researchers found a significantly higher bacterial load in samples taken from the beards of men compared to the fur of dogs.”
The study found that all bearded men, aged 18 to 76, had high germ counts, while only 23 out of 30 dogs had high counts and the rest had moderate levels.
Seven of the men were shown to have insects that are dangerous to human health.
The scans were disinfected after the dogs were examined on the MRI scanner, showing “significantly” lower bacterial counts compared to levels seen when used by humans.
“Based on these results, dogs can be considered clean compared to bearded men,” said Dr Gutzeit.
Keith Flett, founder of the Beard Liberation Front which promotes facial hair, was not impressed by the report.
“I think it’s possible to find all kinds of nasty things if you take swabs off people’s hair and hands and then test them,” he told the Mail.
“I don’t believe beards by themselves are unhealthy.
“There seems to be a constant stream of negative beard stories that suggest it’s more about pogonophobia [the fear of beards] than anything else.”
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