Public bathrooms ‘home to plethora of bacteria’

In a recent study, researchers have revealed that a plethora of bacteria are all around public bathrooms, from the doors and the floors to the faucet handles and toilet seats and they have the potential of civic health implications.

Using a high-throughput genetic sequencing technique, Gilberto Flores and Noah Fierer from the University of Colorado, Boulder investigated 12 public restrooms, 6 male and 6 female, in Colorado.

They identified various bacteria on all the surfaces they tested, and the floor had the most diverse bacterial community, and human skin was the primary source of bacteria on all surfaces.

Interestingly, there were a few differences between the bacteria found in the male versus female bathrooms.

The sequencing approach they used also allowed the researchers to determine the source of the bacteria they identified, including skin, soil, and urine.

The study has been recently published in the online journal PLoS ONE.

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