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Friday, June 2, 2023

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SDSU researchers identified more than 500 bacterial genera in offices. SDSU researchers identified more than 500 bacterial genera in offices.

Gross, Man!

SDSU researchers find office bacteria all around, especially in men's work stations.

Men's offices have significantly more bacteria than women's, and the office bacterial communities of New York and San Francisco are indistinguishable, according to a study published May 30 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

"Humans are spending an increasing amount of time indoors, yet we know little about the diversity of bacteria and viruses where we live, work and play," said Scott Kelley, lead author on the study and SDSU professor of biology.

"This study provides detailed baseline information about the rich bacterial communities in typical office settings and insight into the sources of these organisms."

The report includes the characterization of bacterial identity and abundance in offices in New York, San Francisco, and Tucson.

The researchers, led by Kelly, identified more than 500 bacterial genera in offices in the three cities, the most abundant of which tended to come from human skin or the nasal, oral, or intestinal cavities. They also found that chairs and phones had a high abundance of bacteria, while the abundance on the desktop, keyboard, and mouse was somewhat lower.

They also found that offices inhabited by men had a higher bacterial abundance than women's, but the diversity of the communities didn't show any significant differences.

The complete research article can be ready in the PLoS One here.

This research was funded by grants from San Diego State University, the Clorox Corporation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Related stories: 

Men vs. Women: Whose Offices Have More Bacteria? - Time

SDSU study: Men's cubicles have more bacteria - UT San Diego