A study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B showed that the types of household germs can be determined by the gender of the home’s resident, and by pets, mostly dogs and cats. Researchers looked at about 1200 homes across geographic regions in the United States. Here is some of their findings in a nutshell:
Indoors germs and fungi more diverse
Researchers found that bacteria and germs indoors were more diverse than outdoors in the homes studied. In addition, the microbial communities were distinctly different indoors that those found outdoors. In other words, the bacteria and fungi living inside our homes are not identical to those living just outside our homes.
Gender can determine household bacterial makeup
The interesting part of this study was that the researchers found that the gender of the residents, and the pets in the homes, determine the type of bacteria found in the home.
For example, the researchers think they can somewhat accurately determine the male to female ratio of the residents in a home by looking at the bacterial makeup in that house. It has been shown in past studies that men shed more skin then women. Also, women have certain types of bacteria that men don’t have.
Pets can determine household bacterial makeup
Past studies have also shown that there are different types of bacteria in the mouths or feces of dogs and cats. In particular, it has been shown that having dogs can determine type type of bacteria in your house. This study showed that dogs indeed had a strong impact on the types of bacterial communities found in your home. Also, they found that cats also play a role in influencing the types of household bacteria.
Take Home Message?
The microbes and fungi in your home are not identical to those living outside your home. Also, who you are can determine the type of bacteria in your house. Having dogs and cat is also an important factor in the makeup of the bacteria in your house. As the researchers quoted in their study, “If you want to change your bacterial exposures, then you just have to change who you live with in your home.”