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Air pollution may make some bacteria in our nose and throat turn nasty

The superbug MRSA is potentially even more harmful if it is exposed to air pollution, some studies using mice and human cells suggest

Health 28 February 2022

Air pollution from smoke stacks at oil refinery; Shutterstock ID 363307955; purchase_order: -; job: -; client: -; other: -

Air pollution from smoke stacks at an oil refinery

Susan Santa Maria/Shutterstock

Air pollution from fossil fuels and wood burning can directly affect the behaviour of bacteria, in some cases making them more likely to cause illness, a series of studies has shown.

“This is at an early stage, but it’s something that we need to look into more,” says Julie Morrissey at the University of Leicester in the UK. “This could be affecting health, because it is potentially affecting microbiomes and infectious disease microbes.”

Air pollution has many adverse effects on our …