Medical News Today

Catharine Paddock PhD
August 21, 2011

airThe air of two Midwestern US cities contains significant amounts of bacteria from feces, particularly dog poop, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder, published recently in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The researchers tested the air of four locations in the Great Lakes region, and found that, in addition to the more predictable organic sources (such as leaves and soil), fecal material, most likely from dogs, often represents an unexpected source of atmospheric bacteria in urbanized areas during the winter.

 

Lead author Robert Bowers, a graduate student at the University of Colorado Boulder and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), told the press on Thursday:

 

“We found unexpectedly high bacterial diversity in all of our samples, but to our surprise the airborne bacterial communities of Detroit and Cleveland most closely resembled those communities found in dog poop.”

 

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