MicrobeWorld App

appsquarebannerad200x200

Join MicrobeWorld

Subscribe via Email

subscribe

Microbes After Hours

shutdown

Click for more "Microbes After Hours" videos

Featured Image

Featured Video

Crowdsourced Microbes Heading to Station

Supporters

ASM House 200X200

Cigarettes might be infectious

The tobacco in cigarettes hosts a bacterial bonanza — literally hundreds of different germs, including those responsible for many human illnesses, a new study finds.

“Nearly every paper that you pick up discussing the health effects of cigarettes starts out with something to the effect that smokers and people exposed to secondhand smoke experience high rates of respiratory infections,” notes Amy Sapkota of the University of Maryland, College Park. The presumption has been that smoking renders people vulnerable to disease by impairing lung function or immunity. And it may well do both.

“But nobody talks about cigarettes as a source of those infections,” she says. Her new data now suggest that’s distinctly possible.

If these germs are alive, something she has not yet confirmed, just handling cigarettes or putting an unlit one to the mouth could be enough to cause an infection.
 
 

Comments (0)

Collections (0)

 

American Society for Microbiology
2012 1752 N Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20036-2904 • (202) 737-3600

Copyright © American Center for Microbiology 2012. All Rights Reserved.