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Beard bacteria could help develop new antibiotics
Full beards are trendy. Countless bacteria roam the beards. Facial hair could help develop new antibiotics, according to researchers at University College in London. Can the bacteria in the beard also endanger health? The scientists also examined this.
Whole beards are very popular at the moment and look fashionable, but it has often been said that beards are full of dirt and bacteria. But that doesn't necessarily have to be negative for us. Researchers have now discovered that the bacteria in beards could help develop new forms of antibiotics. The scientists published the results of their study in the journal "Journal of Hospital Infection".
Smooth-shaven people are more populated with bacteria
Researchers around the world have been looking for a new antibiotic for years. Now it seems that scientists have finally found what they are looking for. But the experts did not find new approaches in the deepest rainforest or in a remote swamp, but in men's beards.
Critics have long argued that beards are not only an annoying affectation, but can also contain unpleasant bacteria. But do beards pose a health risk? In fact, traces of enterobacteria have already been found in beards, this type usually occurs in faeces, say the doctors. Do all beards contain such bacteria? A recent scientific study conducted in an American hospital came to very different conclusions.
In this study, the faces of 408 hospital staff were dabbed off, whether with or without facial hair. The place was carefully chosen. We know that hospital-acquired infections are one of the main causes of illness and death in our hospitals, the researchers explain, and it is here that many patients become infected with dangerous bacteria. For a long time, it was suspected that the bacteria were transmitted through our hands, smocks, or devices.
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Human beards have not yet been thought of. Surprisingly, the doctors were able to determine that smooth-shaved staff had a higher colonization with certain types of bacteria. "Our study suggests that facial hair does not increase the overall risk of bacterial colonization compared to clean-shaven controls," the researchers said. "Subjects with shaved skin even had harmful bacteria on their faces three times more often than their bearded colleagues."
Medic discovered antibiotic properties in beard samples
What are the reasons for the increased bacteria on smooth-shaven faces? The current study has an explanation. When we shave, microtraumas can develop on the skin. These can lead to abrasions that support bacterial colonization, the researchers say. Some scientists now even suspect that beards are able to fight infections. The beards of countless people were blotted and the samples were then sent to Dr. for analysis. Adam Roberts from “University College London”.
The doctor grew more than a hundred different bacteria from the beard samples. He found that something grew in some of the petri dishes that killed the other bacteria. The substance clearly had antibiotic properties, explained Dr. Roberts. The doctor explained that there may be antibodies in beards that can fight infections. In other words: away with the razor, the beard is back. (As)