Your Sloppy Snog Shares 80 Million Bacteria

By Gerald Lynch on at

You're going to need more than a mint to ensure a super-cool kiss -- Dutch scientists have found that a single spit-swap can transfer as many as 80 million bacteria in a single snogging session.

Researchers at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) tested 21 couples, quizzing them on their kissing habits for the previous year, and checking the frequency with which they'd lean in for a cheeky smooch.

The volunteers had bacterial samples taken from their mouths before a kiss, then one member of the couple was asked to take a swig of a probiotic drink with easily-identifiable bugs in it. The scientists were then able to count how many of these bugs were transferred during a kiss.

Not simply an exercise in perving on lip-locked lovers for the scientists, the research is hoped to one day help design bacterial therapies, and better understand the transmission of oral diseases. The exchange of some bacteria in small amounts also helps to build a strong immune system, so don't stop putting out just yet. [BBC]