Chimpanzees sleep on cleaner beds than humans - study

Your bed could be having more bacteria than that of a chimpanzee.

Scientists from North Carolina State University in the US discovered that nests built by chimps in Tanzania had fewer bacteria shed from bodies than beds in most human households.

American PhD student Megan Thoemmes, who led a team collecting swab samples from 41 chimpanzee nests in the Issa Valley, Tanzania, found the chimp nests had a much greater variety of bugs even though they were far less likely to harbour 'dirty’ bacteria from the body.

At 15 of the nests, researchers also used vacuums to sample the diversity of arthropods, such as insects and arachnids.


"We found almost none of those microbes in the chimpanzee nests, which was a little surprising," Thoemmes said.

"There were only four ectoparasites found, across all the nests we looked at. And that’s four individual specimens, not four different species," she added.

The results contained in the Royal Society Open Science journal indicate that human's susceptibility to autoimmune diseases and allergies could be linked to these differences.

"This work really highlights the role that man-made structures play in shaping the ecosystems of our immediate environment," Thoemmes noted.


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