Can body odor be transmitted?

Q&ACategory: QuestionsCan body odor be transmitted?
Brandon asked 4 months ago
Hello, 
My name is Brandon from Boston. I have general body odor compared to my wife who doesn’t have any issues like me in terms of odor. I have never sensed this on her or her clothing and was always amazed at this, unlike me where it is easily detectable if I don’t wear deodorant at all. Now, she is claiming that suddenly she has body odor and says it is because I “transmitted” the bacteria to her. Is it possible that I passed my microbiome to her or is body odor more on the genetic level? Looking to give an answer to her claim. 
Best, 
-Brandon S. 

1 Answers
drarmpit answered 1 week ago
Hi Brandon, in short, yes it is quite possible that your transferred microbes for your skin to your partner’s skin. The opposite has also happened. Partners simply share everything, also their microbes. Here is a study that shows this: https://elifesciences.org/articles/00458.
Then again, body odor is generally much more complex than just transferring bacteria. There is the gut/skin axis which is quite important. What you eat will also determine how you smell and which bacteria will be dominant on skin. With older age, one can develop a small intolerance toward a certain ingredient. So it could well be that she has developed a food intolerance which is leading to an altered body odor. If you two have been together for a while, and the odor has just recently started, I would say the latter is the most likely reason. 
Best, Chris