Offices inhabited by men have significantly more bacteria than women’s, according to a new study.

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The team, led by Scott Kelley of University of California, San Diego, identified more than 500 bacterial genera in offices in the three cities, the most abundant of which tended to come from human skin or the nasal, oral, or intestinal cavities.

“Humans are spending an increasing amount of time indoors, yet we know little about the diversity of bacteria and viruses where we live, work and play,” said Dr Kelley.

“This study provides detailed baseline information about the rich bacterial communities in typical office settings and insight into the sources of these organisms,” he said.

The report includes the characterization of bacterial identity and abundance in offices in New York, San Francisco, and Tucson.

The researchers also found that chairs and phones had a high abundance of bacteria, while the abundance on the desktop, keyboard, and mouse were somewhat lower.

This study has been published in the open access journal PLoS ONE.