I get quite a few questions every week on the topics of microbiology, immunology, and increasingly neuroscience. This week, I expected to have quite a few requests to comment on what I believed would be the health story of the week…

clinton-pneumoniaHillary Clinton’s Pneumonia

But I was wrong. While I did get a few questions about her health and the nature of Levaquin, most of the requests centered on another potential health scare…


The concern arises from a study – and I use that term lightly – on the amount of bacteria found on different water bottle types. You can read the entire process and results here: Water Bottle Germs Revealed.

The results came back showing water bottles were a hub for germy grossness. On average, these exercise accessories contained what was considered to be a shocking number…over 300,000 bacteria per square centimetre! The study then went on to compare that number to the number of germs found on toilet seats and also, for some reason, pet toys.

As you might expect, this was enough to make me…

Shake My Head

But…because it’s the weekend, rather than go on a rant, I thought a calmer, gentler approach might be better. Besides, why go on and on when the study and what it means can be summed up in a few short iambic lines…14 to be exact.

So, without further ado…I present…

bottle-3The Water Bottle And You…

“Keep hydrated!” is a common and useful refrain;
Water and electrolytes certainly are necessities of life.
Yet you are not the only one who is able to gain;
These elements help bacteria grow without strife.

In your water bottle, you will find, as these little germs grow;
They will far outnumber those found on toilet seats and toys;
But don’t fret about your health as the numbers don’t show;
Any significant threat to your wellness and poise.

If you wish to prevent bacteria from becoming too lush;
There’s an easy method to to keep their numbers at bay;
Simply acquire soap and hot water – and a soft bottle brush;
Soak, scrub, and rinse at least once every few days.

There is one last thing to know about your bottle and I hope this rings true;
Those microbes are probably harmless because most of them came from you.