When a couple decides that it is time to go live together, it is clear that they accept that, from that moment, they will share many things, such as the bathroom, the kitchen, or the bed. However, when we move to live with our beloved or loved, everything changes, including the microbes of our skin. This has been determined by a team of researchers from the University of Waterloo in Ontario (Canada), who have concluded that when we live as a couple there is a large exchange of microbes, which causes our microbial profile to change. [ You May also like: Excessive use of Social Networks can Damage Relationships ]
In the study, published in MSystems, an open access journal of the American Society of Microbiology, experts found that each person in the relationship significantly influenced the microbial communities of their partner’s skin. Using microbial data, several computer algorithms were able to match lovers with 86% accuracy. Of all these data, the part of the body in which more exchange of bacteria of the skin took place was the feet.
The microbiome of the feet is the one that most accuses this change.
Why precisely the feet?
Causality was not analyzed, but scientists believe it could be because couples walk barefoot on the same surfaces as the house, making it easier to transfer bacteria between themselves and their immediate surroundings.
“You shower and walk barefoot on the same floor, and this process probably serves as an effective way of microbial exchange with the couple, and also with the house itself,” says Josh Neufeld, the leader of the work.
The experts analyzed a total of 340 skin samples from 10 heterosexual couples currently living in the same house, to observe the influence that coexistence had on the skin of an intimate partner. Samples were collected from 17 sites throughout the body, including the navel, armpits, and nostrils. [ You May also like: How to Get Over Seeing your Ex with another Girl ]
While it is true that people have several bacterial communities of skin depending on the area, this finding shows that factors such as cohabitation can really give a new shape to Microbiome.
However, not all areas of the skin share the same microbiome in the partner. For example, researchers found that microbial communities collected in thighs were more similar among same-sex people than those living together. This could be related to the fact that the bacteria inside the female thighs are influenced by the vaginal microbiome.
Microbes are unique but, at the same time, they are easily influenced. Diet, the environment, and even a simple casual encounter can affect the microbiome, so it is not surprising to share the bed with someone and have their bacteria on the skin since this coexistence affects the composition of the microbial profile itself.
Every hour, humans lose a million biological particles by contact with our environment
Most bacteria on the skin are harmless or even beneficial, which prevents pathogenic microbes – bacteria that can cause infection – inhabit that area. [ You May also like: Tips to Fill your Relationship with Romance ]
The results of the study coincide with previous research that has concluded that married couples also mutually influence Immunology. Immune systems tend to reflect lifestyle habits, such as diet and exercise, which tend to coincide with couples living together. This is the reason why we usually get sick at the same time or catch a cold, for example, because we are in the same environment breathing pollutants, mold, and dust together.