CBS Local– The decision of moving in with a significant other comes with a heightened sense of sharing. But one thing many are unaware they are signing up to share is skin bacteria, according to a new study.
Researchers took skin swabs from 10 sexually active hetrosexual couples that live together. They found that microbiome communities, bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms, on each individual’s skin matched their partner with 86 percent accuracy.
“The most surprising aspect of the study was that we could identify a microbial fingerprint common to cohabiting couples,” said Josh Neufeld, study co-author via New York Times.
Each individual had skin swabs from 17 different parts of the body. Researchers found that feet shared the most similarities, meaning it’s easiest to accrue microbiome from feet.
“The more we know about factors that influence the human microbiome, including microbes coating our skin, the more we understand about the barriers that protect our bodies from disease, train our immune system and connect to the environments that we inhabit,” said Neufeld.