Bearded Men Carry More Germs Than Dogs, Study Finds

When researchers were tasked with figuring out if it would be hygienic for dogs and humans to use the same MRI machine, they looked to analyze the cleanliness levels of people vs. canines. They discovered that when comparing bearded men, in which bacteria can get trapped in the hair, and dogs, our four-legged friends are cleaner.

“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 researchers wrote.

Researchers looked at 18 men with beards and 30 dogs, including German Shepherds and Schnauzers, and examined the presence of microbes. The team pulled out strands of hair from the men’s beards and took swabs from the dogs’ necks (supposedly an area full of bacteria).

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They found that all bearded men, ranging in ages between 18 and 76, had high levels of microbes, whereas only 23 of the 30 dogs did. They also found the bearded men had more human-pathogenic strains than dogs. Seven of the men had bacteria that could be harmful to humans, including those that could cause urinary tract infections and staphylococcus aureus, a common skin bacteria that can cause serious infections if enters the blood stream.

The research took place at three radiology departments in Europe. The conclusion of the study? Dogs are no risk to humans if both use the same MRI. As for are humans a risk to dogs, it is up for debate.

The study was first published in European Biology.

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