Published April 20, 2019
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND A study conducted to determine whether humans and dogs in the same MRI scanner would be hygienic, revealed that bearded men carry more germs than furry dogs, such ascollies, dachshunds and German shepherds.
Researchers at the Hirslanden Clinic compared the bacterial load in colony-forming units (CFU) of human-pathogenic microorganisms in specimens taken from 18 bearded men and 30 dogs. The age of the bearded men tested ranged from ages 18 to 76. Samples from beards were taken from below the mouth. The ages of dogs were three months to 13 years-old.
The study determined: significantly higher bacterial load in specimens taken from men’s beards compared with dogs’ fur (p = 0.036). All of the men (18/18) showed high microbial counts, whereas only 23/30 dogs had high microbial counts and 7 dogs moderate microbial counts. Furthermore, human-pathogenic microorganisms were more frequently found in human beards (7/18) than in dog fur (4/30), although this difference did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.074)
The study concluded: “Our study shows that bearded men harbour significantly higher burden of microbes and more human-pathogenic strains than dogs. 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 study was released in February, but went viral in the Internet this past week.