Previous research has shown that the overuse of antibiotics has a hand in promoting an antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria and now a new study published in the journal mBio has found that an antibiotic common to soaps and hand sanitizers actually promotes the growth of Staphylococcus aureus inside the human nose.
The new study, from researchers at the University of Michigan, found that the antibacterial additive triclosan could actually increase the risk of nasal infection.
“It’s really common in hand soaps, toothpastes and mouthwashes but there’s no evidence it does a better job than regular soap,” said study author Blaise Boles, an assistant professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at the university. “This agent may have unintended consequences in our bodies. It could promote S. aureus nasal colonization, putting some people at increased risk for infection.”