- State of the art
The microbes that inhabit the human body, which are collectively known as the human microbiota, play a key role in health and disease. But how social contacts shape the composition of the human microbiota is still little known .
- What this research adds
Analyzing the microbiota of around 300 people in the Fiji Islands, the researchers found that the microbes in the mouth and intestines are commonly transmitted between spouses. Compared to men, women are home to bacteria that are more closely related to those hosted by their close relatives and friends .
Although the study did not determine the directionality of the transmission nor whether it was direct, the results open the way to understanding how the microbiota is shared among individuals .