Men with beards harbour more germs in their whiskers than dogs carry on their fur according to Professor Andreas Gutzeit of Switzerland’s Hirslanden Clinic.
In the study scientist wanted to discover if there was a risk that humans might pick up a dog-borne disease from an MRI scanner that was alsao used for examinations by vets. The alarming new follows a study that found every sampled beard was crawling with bacteria, and nearly half had bugs that were hazardous to human health and by contrast, several dogs tested proved to have lower levels of microbes. Researchers took swabs from the beards of 18 men and the neck of 30 dogs , across a range of breeds and compared the results.
After the MRI exams of the dogs the scanners were disinfected and showed a significantly lower bacteria count compared with levels seen when used by humans.
Dog are considered as clean compared with bearded men said Dr Gutzeit.
Men are left bristling with fury, with claims that result stem from pogonophobia – the irrational fear of beards.
Keith Flett, founder of Beard Liberation Front, which opposes any discrimination against hirsute, cast doubt on the report.