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Microbiome Awareness Month – These Boots Are Made for Bacteria

This time of year, many of us will be stepping out quite often, whether for something as mundane as work or as glitzy as an annual party.  The next time you go out the door, you may want to pause and think of the potential unwanted bacteria you may be about to step in.

In 2008, a study at the University of Arizona found extraordinary amounts of bacteria on the bottoms of shoes.  The average sole harbored 421,000 bacterial units, each consisting of enough bacteria to reproduce and grow a new colony.

The study detected nasties like Escherichia coli (E. coli), Klebsiella pneumoniae (which can cause urinary tract infections), and Serratia ficaria (linked with respiratory infections) lurking on the bottoms of people’s shoes.

So, while this month you are stepping out maybe more than usual when returning to your humble abode, you may want to leave your shoes — and the many potential bacterial invaders that hitched a free ride on them — at the door.

For more information on shoes and bacteria, read our classic blog post

If you are interested in learning more about your health and your microbiome come check out our clinical microbiome test SmartGut™.