When we bathe, we hope that we will completely cleanse ourselves; However, this is practically impossible, as the environment is full of microorganisms. Within this assumption, the team of researchers decided to analyze the microbiological communities in the shower heads that are commonly used in houses, in addition to those in the tubes.
After that, it was discovered that in our showers there are microbiological communities that can cause disease; however, it depends on the methods used to purify water used in different communities.
Many bacterial communities can be accommodated in our shower
In order to analyze the existence of microbial life in water and shower cables, a team of researchers from the University of Colorado collected samples from various households, both in Europe and the United States.
For this, special attention is paid to the microbacterium of the genus Micobacterium, the type of bacteria that can cause leprosy and tuberculosis. In addition, the genus Micobacterium is associated with 200 other types of bacteria that can be stored in any environment, especially in soil, dust and running water; These are known as non-tuberculous mycobacteria.
An interesting aspect of this type of bacteria is that it grows in colonies in the shape of a mold, which is why they are a sign of fungi. This implies that non-tuberculous mycobacteria can be quite common in bathrooms, showers and showers. Generally, these bacteria are harmless to humans, however, they can cause lung infections.
Therefore, in order to determine their presence in the house, the researchers analyzed the DNA present in 656 biofilm samples from domestic showers; In addition, the basic data on household water chemistry were taken into account. This way it has been discovered that our showers are an excellent source of non-tuberculous mycobacteria.
Showering can lead us to disease
After the analysis, it was observed that the genus Micobacterium is extremely common in domestic showers. However, the differences were found by the place of origin of the tested samples. In particular, it was discovered that mycobacteria were more common in American homes than in European.
In this regard, the researchers suggest that this is due to various ways of treating water to clear it; For this purpose, chlorine is commonly used in the United States, however, mycobacteria are resistant to this substance.
In addition, it was noticed that residences that used water from the reservoir had less bacteria than showers that received direct water from municipal deposits; in the same line, metal shower heads have a higher percentage of mycobacteria than plastic; However, in the second, communities were more diverse, referring to the chemicals present in this material.
In the end, researchers found that in places in the United States where lung infections related to mycobacteria are more common, such as Florida and New York, heads of domestic showers usually have a higher number of these microbes.
Even so, it is necessary to take into account that this is a correlation investigation, in order to establish causal relationships, further research is needed. For now, scientists have discovered the causes that determine the presence or absence of these bacteria in our homes and their impact on human health.
Reference: Ecological analysis of mycobacteria in biofilms in showers and their relevance to human health, (2018). https: //vv.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01614-18