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Can the microbiome be shared among families and friends?

A recent study extensively investigated the gut and mouth microbiomes of thousands of individuals from 20 different countries across five continents. The study's primary objective was to better understand the person-to-person #microbiome transmission patterns.


The study examined various scenarios, including transmission between mother-infant pairs, household members, adult twins, as well as villages and populations.


🔑 Here are some key findings:


* As expected, the most significant level of shared microbiota was observed between mothers and their infants during the first year of life, with a median strain-sharing rate of 50%.


* Individuals living together in the same household were found to possess similar microorganisms colonizing their bodies,and the longer they cohabitated, the more similar their microbiomes became.


* Cohabiting individuals exhibited a considerable degree of strain sharing, with median strain-sharing rates of 12% and 32% for the gut and oral microbiomes, respectively.


Unfortunately, the study did not explore microbial sharing between humans and their pets, which could have been an intriguing addition to the research.


Ref: Valles-Colomer et al. The person-to-person transmission landscape of the gut and oral microbiomes. Nature 2023


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