=== (AGENDAWATCHDOG) === Just when you thought it was safe to get back on the subway, new research reveals there are thousands of mysterious viruses and bacteria infesting public transportation all over the world.
They found 31 bacteria species present in nearly every locale—including ones that cause body odor and acne—forming a ‘core urban microbiome.’
Beyond that, each city had a distinct microbe ‘fingerprint’ comprised of dozens of microbes found in nearly every sample.
From 4,000 samples, they found 4,246 known species of microbes —about 70 percent of which were bacteria.
But about 45 percent of the microbes they detected, including some 11,000 viruses and 700 bacteria, didn’t match any known species.
The study, sponsored by the research consortium MetaSUB, saw some 900 scientists and volunteers swabbed railings, seats, turnstiles, ticket windows in some 60 cities around the world, including New York, Paris, Baltimore, Bogota and Seoul.
While public transportation systems have been largely avoided during the pandemic — and studiously cleaned — the research was conducted between 2015 and 2017.