New study on face mask bacteria suggests vulnerable people should avoid them

New study on face mask bacteria suggests vulnerable people should avoid them Credit: Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com

A new study on bacteria and fungi caused by face masks has shed light on the potential risk of usage for vulnerable people.

The study entitled “Bacterial and fungal isolation from face masks under the COVID-19 pandemic,” aimed to identify and quantify the amount of bacteria and fungi that collected on face masks.

The research was carried out with 109 participants in Japan, who mostly used non-woven face masks, from whom, samples of bacteria and fungi were taken from south the face-side and outer-side of their masks.

The study found that more bacteria was found on the face side, where as more fungi was found on the outer side of the face masks.

Using the face mask for longer periods of time showed an increase in fungi yet not in bacteria, with several pathogenic microbes being found during the study, specifically: “Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Aspergillus, and Microsporum.”

The genus Cladosporium, the most frequently detected fungus in the study, was more frequently detected in females (58% females and 29% males).

Yet interestingly, the bacterial colony counts on the face masks were higher in males than in females among the daily users.

 The authors of the study concluded by proposing that “immunocompromised people should avoid repeated use of masks to prevent microbial infection.”

The study follows reports of Germany expecting some form of mandatory masking to return during the Autumn months following a rise in Covid and flu cases, as reported on Monday, July 18.


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Written by

Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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