A team of researchers has discovered the unique enzyme responsible for the pungent and characteristic bad smell that emanates from the armpits, and which is called BO (Body Odor).
University of York researchers had previously shown that only a few bacteria in our armpits are the real culprits in the bad smell of armpits.
Now the same team has taken it a step further to discover a unique 'BO enzyme' found only within these bacteria. It is he who is responsible for the characteristic odor that affects commuters most used to wash themselves, forced to suffer the scents on crowded public transport.
Specialty: bad smell
This new research highlights how certain bacteria developed a specialized enzyme to produce some of the key molecules that we recognize as BO.
The first author of the (serious) research published in Scientific Reports is the doctor Michelle Rudden of the Department of Biology of the University of York. Dr Rudden said: “Decoding the structure of this 'BO enzyme' has allowed us to identify the molecular passage within some bacteria that produce odor molecules. This is a key advance in understanding how body odor works and will allow the development of targeted inhibitors that stop BO production at the source without damaging the underarm microbiome. ”
Punish the guilty, protect the innocent
The armpit houses a diverse community of bacteria that is part of the skin's natural microbiome. This research highlights Staphylococcus hominis as the main suspect among the microbes that produce body odor.
Researchers state that this "BO enzyme" was present in S. hominis long before the emergence of Homo sapiens as a species. This suggests that this bad smell existed even before the evolution of modern humans.
In the past it may have played an important role in communication between ancestral primates.