House Dust Has Thousands Of Bacteria And Fungi, New Study Reveals

Posted: Aug 27 2015, 12:46am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


House Dust Has Thousands of Bacteria and Fungi, New Study Reveals

The new study reveals more details about the houses and the people living in them

The dust in your houses not just tells about your cleaning habits. It has something more to say. 

A recent research has found that household dust is littered with bacteria. A group of researchers from University of Colorado, Boulder and University of North Carolina collected the dust samples from 1,200 homes across the United States. After analyzing those samples, they reach to conclusion that our houses have thousands of species of bacteria and around 2,000 species of fungi.

“I don’t want any reader to be paranoid about this,” said Noah Fierer, the lead author of the study. “Most of the organisms are completely innocuous and some may be beneficial.”

The microbial communities found in the house can reveal more about the people living in the house and the climate where they live. Bacteria are influenced by the number and types of people living in a house. They can suggest what is the men to women ratio in the house or is there any pets living in the house?

Fungi, on the other hand, reveals, what is the climate and geographical region of the house. Since certain types of fungi can grow in certain atmosphere, the location of the house determines the composition of fungi community.

“If you want to change the types of fungi you are exposed to in your home, then it is best to move to a different home (preferably far away),” the author states. “If you want to change your bacterial exposures, then you just have to change who you live with.”

To collect dust samples, people were asked to rub a cotton swab on the door trim of interior and exterior doors because they are not cleaned too often.  The double sampling also allowed researchers to see the difference between inside and outside microbial populations. Then participants were asked to fill out a survey with questions regarding house and their living style. 

“This is the first large scale study that we already know about the microbes in the home environment. It gives us more power to understand the effects of different factors on these communities.” 

The study was published in The Royal Society Publishing

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The Author

Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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