A man sneezing | James Gathany, CDC Public Health Image Library, Wikimedia Commons

Swapping Spit: You Likely Share Your Roommate’s Microbiome, Even Without Kissing

Household environment, not genetics, shapes an individual’s salivary microbiome, according to research on an extended family of Ashkenazi Jews living on three continents.

Published On 09/15/2017
11:39 AM EDT
A A t least 800 species of microorganisms live in the mouth of each person. They usually include well known bacteria, like Streptococcus, but also less familiar bacteria from genera such as Rothia, Neisseria, and Prevotella. With each sneeze and spit-filled emotional outburst, these tiny organisms can spew from the mouth, traveling up to 25 feet.