The microbes on your phone are different from the microbes on your shoes

But the microbes on your shoes are similar to the microbes on everyone else's shoes and the microbes on your phone are similar to the microbes on everyone else's phone.

In both cases, the microbes are cousins to bacteria that can make you really sick, but generally they're protecting you against worse bacteria. The results date from a 2012 project: Reporters at the AAAS Conference Swab Their Cell Phones and Shoes for Science. It'd be interesting to see what differences have emerged since.

The most predominant species include:

Mycoplasma (beige) – one of the smallest cells (0.1 μm diameter), also characterized by its resistance to antibiotics and role in respiratory illnesses including pneumonia.

* Moraxellaceae (fuchsia) – this family includes the causative agent of pink eye in cattle and human respiratory tract antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

* Sphingomonadaceae (orange) – widespread family of bacteria which can be found in both marine and terrestrial habitats. Some species are able to rapidly degrade plastics in landfills.

* Streptophyta (purple) – a cyanobacterium, this microbe uses photosynthesis in a manner similar to plants.

* Flavobacteriaceae (pink) – a group associated with diseases in fish, such as rainbow trout fry syndrome and bacterial cold water disease

Microbial Biodiversity of Cell Phones and Shoes [Home Microbiome Study]

(via Making Light)