Foot Fungus Revealed

A new study profiles the garden of fungal organism that grows on human feet.

By | July 2, 2013

WIKIMEDIA, JAKUB MARTYNSKIAthlete’s foot and toenail fungus are just the tip of a fungal iceberg when it comes to the species that inhabit the human foot, according to a recently published study. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health found an average of 50 species of fungi living on the feet of 10 healthy adults. Their results were published in a May issue of Nature.

The scientists also swabbed the study participants’ other body parts—including behind the ear, between the eyebrows, and on the chest, back, nostril, scalp, and various parts of the arm. But nowhere were fungal communities more diverse than on the foot. What’s more, the fungal assemblages living on people’s feet fluctuated wildly compared to those found elsewhere on the body. When study subjects were swabbed a second time a few months after the initial samples were taken, the researchers found that the fungal communities on the feet were quite different, while those found on other body parts were more stable.


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Avatar of: Hadashi Blacksky

Hadashi Blacksky

Posts: 1

July 27, 2013

The study should find at least one person, preferably more, who never wear shoes and test them in the same way. It is very likely that if they did they would find that the fungal levels on their feet are comparable to those on the hands.

Preferably, this should be a person who has never worn shoes, but since that is something that is increasingly dificult to find in America they should at least find someone who has not worn them in several years.  That guy from Duel Survival might be a good place to start.


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