Findings of a new study published in the February 2019 issue of the journal European Radiology have found that men with beards carry more bacteria than dogs.

Microbial Counts In Bearded Men And Dogs

In the study, Andreas Gutzeit, from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Zurich Switzerland, and colleagues compared the bacterial samples taken from 30 dogs that had been brought to the hospital for MRI examinations and 18 bearded men.

The researchers also compared the bacterial contamination of MRI scanners exclusively used by humans with that in the device used by both dogs and humans.

They found that all the bearded men that participated in the study showed high microbial counts. In comparison, only 23 of the 30 dogs had high bacterial counts.

Seven of the men even had so much bacteria in the beard that they were at risk of getting sick.

As for the scanners, Gutzeit and colleagues found that the one used by both men and dogs had significantly lower bacteria counts compared with those exclusively used by humans.

"Our study shows that bearded men harbour significantly higher burden of microbes and more human-pathogenic strains than dogs," study researchers wrote in their study.

"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."

Is It Hygienic To Use MRI Scanners Used By Dogs?

The purpose of the study is to find out if it is hygienic to evaluate humans and dogs in the same MRI scanner. Some veterinary clinics do not have a dedicated animal scanner, which is expensive and costly to maintain, so sick animals are sometimes brought to human hospitals for examination.

Some people, however, are concerned they may contract a disease if they share scanners with these furry animals.

The findings suggest that dogs are clean enough to be brought to human hospitals. MRI scanners also tend to be disinfected after being used by dogs, which makes the device potentially more hygienic compared when a human used it.

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Tags: Beards germs Dogs