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FEB 07, 2017 | CONTAGION EDITORIAL STAFF

Beards May Hold the Answer to Antibiotics

With antibiotic resistance on the rise and new antibiotics far and few between, the need for novel medications is as serious as ever. But research from the University College London (UCL) may have found an unlikely answer: beards.

“What we’ve done as a human species is to basically coat the world in antibiotics by our overuse and inappropriate use. So, we’ve selected for these resistance mechanisms in the bacteria, so it’s why we’re seeing the problem that we’re seeing now,” Adam Roberts, PhD, a microbiologist from the UCL, said in a news release.

So what do beards have to do with antibiotics? Previous research has shown that beards contained fecal bacteria. The researchers from UCL wanted to confirm if this was true, and so they conducted a study of their own. They did not find evidence of fecal bacteria in beards; however, they took the data to further evaluate different bacteria.
After swabbing 20 beards, more than 100 bacteria growths were identified.
 
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