The Risks of Kissing: Massive Transfer of Bacteria

This article highlights the risks associated with kissing, including the transfer of millions of bacteria and the potential transmission of diseases like the common cold, influenza, and even COVID-19.

The Risks of Kissing: Massive Transfer of Bacteria
Love may be in the air, but so are millions of bacteria - a ten-second intimate kiss can transfer on average eighty million bacteria between two people.

While it is true that a kiss on the mouth is the supreme manifestation of affection between two people who are in love, this expression of affection can pose health risks, because through this act a large number of microorganisms such as viruses, fungi, and bacteria are exchanged.

Professor Fernando Ayala Zavala, researcher, and leader of the Emerging Technologies Laboratory of the Center for Research in Food and Development (CIAD) explained that, according to a study conducted at the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), a ten-second intimate kiss can transfer, on average, eighty million bacteria between the two people.

He added that, without wanting to be Cupid's antagonist, it is necessary to be aware that a kiss can transmit diseases caused by viruses, such as the common cold, mononucleosis, and other more serious diseases such as influenza or covid-19. These diseases are spread through saliva and can be particularly dangerous for immunocompromised individuals, such as the elderly or people with chronic diseases.

Another important virus that can be transmitted is the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which manifests as blisters on the lips and around the mouth. Although cold sores are generally harmless, they are highly contagious and can be particularly dangerous for people with weak immune systems. For that reason, he added, child health professionals recommend that newborns and infants should avoid receiving kisses on the lips at all costs.

Periodontitis or periodontal disease is also a condition whose main vehicle of transmission is the exchange of saliva. Its origin is bacterial and causes symptoms such as swollen and bleeding gums, and in an advanced stage, it can cause halitosis (bad breath), hypersensitivity and discoloration of the gums, loss of teeth, and other health problems.

Sexual practices involving the oral route also represent a danger, since there is scientific evidence that, with different levels of risk and in very specific conditions, saliva can be a conductor of sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and human papillomavirus, among others.

Even though a kiss on the mouth can be an important source of transmission of bacteria and viruses, that does not mean that we have to give up expressing our affection and love in this way. But it is always important to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, especially when we are sick. So you know, kiss with caution and make sure you're up to date with your health checkups - a well-timed and well-timed kiss can be a great act of love!

Full Citation:Prensa y Colaboradores, Oficina de. “El Beso, Transferencia Masiva De Bacterias - Centro De Investigación En Alimentación Y Desarrollo (CIAD).” Centro De Investigación En Alimentación Y Desarrollo (CIAD), 10 Mar. 2023,