January 31, 2008

Did you just double dip that chip?

Everyone has seen the Seinfeld episode where George double dips his chip at a party. Probably a pretty common faux-paus around house parties, especially with the Super Bowl coming up. This recent NY Times article describes some new research (who's manuscript has yet to be published)concerning just how many bacteria are transferred by a "double dip". Here is the poster the NYT took for their article.

Without the research being published yet its hard to examine the procedures and get a true feeling for what the numbers mean but here are a few of my guesses: 1. even though the number of bacteria and other foreign bodies being transferred are relatively high, most of them will be normal floral origin within the mouth and buccal area; 2. Of the intrinsic bacteria found most, causing problems to a recipient most likely originate in the gut; 3. The common viruses may be the realistic threat of transmission as it takes relative very few particles to constitute an infection, these include the rhinoviruses and coronavirsuses, but could also inlcude viruses which cause much more serious illness including adenoviruses, paramyxoviruses, and enteroviruses.

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