Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Polyester clothes stink after exercise; cotton, not so much

04.09.2014

Polyester clothes smell worse than cotton, following intensive exercise by their wearers, because bacteria that cause odor grow better on polyester, according to research published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

In the study, the investigators collected t-shirts from 26 healthy individuals following an intensive, hour-long bicycle spinning session, and incubated the shirts for 28 hours before having them inspected by a trained odor panel. The researchers also investigated the taxonomy of the bacteria on the shirts, and in the axillaries.

Freshly secreted sweat has little odor, because the long-chain fatty acids the axillaries secrete are too big to be volatile, says first author, Chris Callewaert of Ghent University, Belgium. Bacteria break these, as well as hormones and sulfur compounds, down to waftable sized, odoriferous molecules.

On the clothes, the main culprit bacteria are micrococci, says Callewaert. "They are known for their enzymatic potential to transform long-chain fatty acids, hormones, and amino acids into smaller—volatile—compounds, which have a typical malodor."

Staphylococci, which inhabit both axillary skin and adjacent textiles (the latter with much less diversity), create a normal, non-malodorous body odor, he says.

"The micrococci are able to grow better on polyester," says Callewaert. He is currently investigating exactly why polyester encourages their growth, and suspects it has to do with the nature of its surfaces.

Corynebacteria are the main causes of bad odors in the armpits, but these anaerobes fail to grow on textiles, says Callewaert.

The impetus for this research is the suffering caused by unpleasant body odor (BO), says Callewaert, who has been consulted by more than 200 patients with this problem, and who runs the website, drarmpit.com.

"BO is taboo, and its prevalence is greatly underestimated," he says. "There is little these people can do to help themselves. Some of them are too psychologically distressed to talk to strangers, or even to leave the house, afraid of what people might think of their smell."

Wearing cotton clothes will reduce the problem somewhat, says Callewaert. But his ultimate objective is to solve the problem of body odor, by transplanting microbes from non-malodorous relatives to those afflicted. (Early results are promising, he says.)

More generally, Callewaert advises people with smelly armpits to avoid overusing antiperspirants, which he says can encourage enrichment of the odor-causing corynebacteria in the axillae. "That is what I have heard from people with BO—the more they use it, the worse it eventually got," he says. But deodorants did not worsen the problem.

###

The manuscript can be found online at http://bit.ly/asmtip0914a. The final version of the article is scheduled for the November 2014 issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Applied and Environmental Microbiology is a publication of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The ASM is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. Its mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.

Jim Sliwa | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.asmusa.org

Further reports about: ASM Environmental Polyester acids bacteria bicycle compounds cotton exercise hormones skin sulfur textiles

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Opening the cavity floodgates
23.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Incentive to Move
23.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New formulas for exploring the age structure of non-linear dynamical systems

23.01.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Drones learn to navigate autonomously by imitating cars and bicycles

23.01.2018 | Information Technology

Enhanced ball screw drive with increased lifetime through novel double nut design

23.01.2018 | Machine Engineering

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>