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Each one has his own, but despite being different, we all can identify: the body odor is something intrinsic to the human being. But, what is the cause exactly? Researchers from the University of York have shown that only a few bacteria out of the hundreds that nest in our skin are the culprits of this phenomenon. And, going further, you have found the ” enzyme BO “, inside the bacteria, and ultimately responsible for the natural aroma found in our armpits. The results have just been published in “Scientific Reports”.

This new research highlights how bacteria particular have developed an enzyme specialized to produce some of the key molecules that we recognize as BO ( acronym for body odor ). In particular, among the diverse microbiota that is found in the skin of the armpit , the analysis has found that Staphylococcus hominis and its enzymes are the main cause behind the body odour.

Michelle Rudden , Department of Biology, University of York and first author of the study, explains: “to Solve the structure of this enzyme has allowed us to determine the step molecular within certain bacteria that produce the odor molecules. This is a key step forward to understand how it works, body odor, and will allow the development of specific inhibitors that stop the production of BO in the source without altering the microbiome of the armpit”. That is to say, you will be able to create deodorants or other inhibitors of body odor more effective and do not affect the rest of bacteria, necessary for the protection of the skin.

body Odor as a form of communication

in Addition, the researchers claim that this “enzyme BO” was present in the S. hominis long before the emergence of Homo sapiens as a species, suggesting that body odor existed before the evolution of modern humans, and may have had an important role in the society communication between ancestral primate.

“This investigation was a true revelation. It was fascinating to discover that there is a key enzyme that form odors in only a few bacteria in the armpits, and evolved there makes tens of millions of years”, affirms for his part, Gordon James , co-author of the study. That is to say, the bacteria that you have in the armpits are there since before your species existed on Earth.