Bacteria found in people’s spit does not vary much around the world, a surprising finding that could provide insights into how cultural factors affect health, researchers said on Thursday. Because the human body harbors 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells, scientists are trying to understand more about the bacteria we carry.
“We are interested in this because by studying the bacteria we can get more insights into human populations than we would get from just studying human DNA,” Mark Stoneking of the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, who led the study, said.
The team observed considerable diversity of bacterial life in the overall saliva microbiome, both within and between individuals. But when comparing samples from different geographic areas they found not much variation, suggesting that bacteria within the mouth of a person’s neighbor is likely to be just as different as someone on the other side of the world. The findings could help better understand human migrations and populations.
Sources: The Times Of India