Scientists working for GOJO industries, which is the inventor of an advanced hand sanitizer called Purell, say they are conducting in-depth research into human microbiome that focuses on bacteria levels on hands to determine how that influences overall health.
The research team’s latest findings have been published in the Journal Of Dermatological Science, and focus on the importance of hand mircobiome thanks to previous research that has already determined how critical this is to overall human health.
Hands are deemed to be the primary intersection for the 100 trillion microorganisms found on the human body, which is why the researchers believe that their study could shine further light on how to maintain and regulate the healthy immune system necessary for fighting many diseases.
Hands are the intersection for microorganisms
"Our hands play a critical role in transmitting microorganisms between people, pets, inanimate objects and our environments," said the study’s author, Dr. Noah Fierer, from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado Boulder.
"Since hands are transporting microorganisms, including pathogens, between people, the dynamics of hand microbial communities and factors impacting them are important to understand."
Dr. Fierer points out that at this point the researchers are unable to determine what is an optimal level of hand microbiome, but further research in the area will concentrate on standardized methods for future testing, together with discovering what the functional role of the hand microbiome is.
The company believes that the study of hand microbiome is at an important juncture in its development, but the big question remains how to control the bacteria levels at healthy levels, by eliminating bacteria that may be threatening, while maintaining healthy levels of ‘good’ bacteria.
Larger more cohesive studies in the pipeline
“Today, with the emerging science of our hand microbiome, we are working with microbiome experts to conduct larger, controlled studies with the best scientific methods to increase the understanding of the microbiome ecosystem of our hands and the relationship with health outcomes," said Jim Arbogast, PhD, GOJO VP of hygiene sciences and public health advancements.
The research team conducting the current literature review on hand microbiome, comprising researchers from GOJO, Kent State University, University of Colorado Boulder and the University College London, analyzed the 18 published, scientific, peer-reviewed articles currently available describing the microbes found on human hands using culture-independent methods.
The team concludes that future skin mircobiome studies should include comprehensive hand sampling, as well as stressing the importance of resolving the methodological influences on previous studies in an effort to move the research to the next level.