It is a widely known fact that cigarette smoking is extremely injurious to health and may also cause lung cancer in the long run. Now a novel study from the University of Maryland claims that cigarettes are said to be extensively contaminated with bacteria, counting some are apparently identified to cause diseases in people.
The study team declared that this is claimed to be the first study to allege that cigarettes themselves could be the direct cause of contact to an ample collection of potentially pathogenic microbes among smokers and other individuals who are exposed to secondhand smoke. Still, the experts warn that the public health insinuations are said to be uncertain and advocate additional study.
Lead expert Amy R. Sapkota, an assistant professor in the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health, commented, “We were quite surprised to identify such a wide variety of human bacterial pathogens in these products. The commercially-available cigarettes that we tested were chock full of bacteria, as we had hypothesized, but we didn’t think we’d find so many that are infectious in humans.”
Sapkota added, “If these organisms can survive the smoking process – and we believe they can – then they could possibly go on to contribute to both infectious and chronic illnesses in both smokers and individuals who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. So, it’s critical that we learn more about the bacterial content of cigarettes, which are used by more than a billion people worldwide.”
Experts apparently depict the study as the first picture of the entire population of bacteria in cigarettes. Preceding experts have supposedly taken tiny samples of cigarette tobacco and positioned them in cultures to observe whether bacteria would breed. But Sapkota’s team apparently undertook a more holistic method via DNA microarray examination to approximate the so-called bacterial metagenome, the whole of bacterial genetic material present in the examined cigarettes.
The findings of the study indicate that commercially accessible cigarettes apparently exhibit a wide collection of bacterial variety, ranging from soil microorganisms to possible human pathogens. Hundreds of bacterial species were supposedly there in every cigarette, and extra examining may probably augment that amount considerably.
Bacteria of medical worth to humans were recognized in all of the examined cigarettes and apparently comprised of Acinetobacter, Bacillus, Burkholderia, Clostridium, Klebsiella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They are all said to be connected to lung infections, respiratory problems, food borne illness, blood infections and the likes.
Sapkota remarked, “Now that we’ve shown that a pack of cigarettes is loaded with bacteria, we will conduct follow-up research to determine the possible roles of these organisms in tobacco-related diseases.”
The question is whether cigarette-borne bacteria endure the burning process and go on to settle in smokers’ respiratory systems? The present study proposes that a few resilient bacteria could spread this way. This might explain the fact that the respiratory tracts of smokers are said to be defined by advanced levels of bacterial pathogens. But it may also be likely that smoking may deteriorate natural immunity.
Also bacteria may appear from the environment than from cigarettes. Additional study may be required to verify the likely health effects of cigarette-borne bacteria.
The study will be published in the forthcoming edition of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.