Kiss and Make Microbiota?
the MPR take:
An article published in the journal Microbiome investigates just how many bacteria are transferred during a short intimate kiss. The answer: as many as 80 million! In the study, researchers had one member of each couple drink a probiotic containing a variety of bacteria and then had the partners kiss for 10 seconds. The amount of probiotic in the receiver's saliva increased threefold; the number of bacteria transferred was calculated using average transfer values plus kiss contact surface, average saliva volume, and assumptions related to bacterial transfer. But that wasn't the only thing the researchers found. When partners kissed each other at least nine times per day, their salivary microbiota became similar, although the collective bacteria in the saliva was eventually washed out. Also, the microbiota present on the tongue was more similar among couples than unrelated individuals, however, this finding may be unrelated to kissing frequency. Other factors such as dental care, oral hygiene practices and diet may contribute to the overall similarity. Researchers conclude that shared microbiota in couples is able to grow in the oral cavity; colonization may be short-term for salivary microbiota and long-term for tongue microbiota.
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