Can i "infect" family by using the same laundry machine?

Name: 
concerned
More information: 
let me start by saying how much i appreciate it that someone is working on finding treatment for this condition. I saw your presentation at Tedx which states that the cause of body odor in many people is the type of bacteria in the underarms. so im concerned if by using the same laundry machine, my BO condition can be passed to family? or is it that excessive worrying from my part?

Comments

Hi, thank you for your question and thank you for your support. The chance of exchanging skin bacteria through clothes and through the laundry machine is definitely high. Also many people that have body odor report that it occurs within the family. But there are a lot of confounding factors playing a role. To begin with, everybody has more than 100 different kinds of bacteria in one underarm. So the chance is high that malodorous bacteria are already present. It is the abundance of those bacteria that impact odor formation. If they stay there in low amounts, there is nothing to worry about. When clothes are washed together with odorous clothes on a low temparature, bacteria are exchanged. But the abundance of bacteria is low, because the clothes are rinsed, centrifuged, etcetera. Also the drying process reduces the microbial load to a high extent. So when those washed clothes are effectively worn, you are looking at an amount of bacteria of 'a mouse', whereas the amount of bacteria already on the skin would be like 'an elephant'. So yes, the chance is definitely there, but the chance is small. If you are worried, you can wash the clothes on a higher temperature (60°C or 140°F is an efficient temperature where bacteria die off). But if it didn't happen in the past, I wouldn't worry about it. Best, Chris