Household dust full of living organisms

Household dust full of living organisms - The dust in our homes contains thousands of bacteria and fungi depending on the location and tenants.

Researchers from the University of Colorado analyzed the dust from different households across the United States. Volunteers from 1,200 homes sent dust samples to the scientists in Boulder. They picked up the waste from the ledges above doorways that is often overlooked while cleaning. The genetic analysis of the house dust revealed a collection of microscopic creatures.

“This is really basic natural history we are investigating here,” said Dr. Noah Fierer, professor of ecology. “We have known for a long that microbes live in our homes. What we are doing now is old-fashioned science, to see how that vary across space.”

They discovered that the average household had more than 9,000 different kinds of microbes. They found more than 2,000 types of fungi including Aspergillus, Penicillium, Altenaria, Fusarium and an average of 7,000 different types of bacteria per household such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Bacteriodes, Faecalibacterium.

They also revealed that the types of microorganisms varied depending on where the home was located, who lived there and whether pets were present. Pets had stronger influence on the microbe mix than any other factor.

Two sorts of skin bacteria, Corynebacterium and Dermabacter, were more plentiful in homes with more males. In homes with more women, a type of bacteria called Lactobacillus was often more abundant. Fungi and bacteria are more diverse inside homes than outside because the outdoor species are carried in on shoes and clothing where they mingle with microbes that are typically found indoors.

“People do not need to worry about microbes in their home. They are all around us, they are on our skin, they’re all around our home and most of these are completely harmless,” Dr. Fierer added. IMAGE/

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