“The elderly and people with other causes of impaired immunity, such as chronic illness, are also at an increased risk of pneumococcal infections,” she added.
Connor called the current understanding of how pneumonia is transmitted “poor, so we wanted to look at how it may be spread in the community”.
Bacteria thrive in wet environments
In the study, the hands of the 40 healthy adults were contaminated with pneumococcus bacteria. Participants were divided into four groups. The “wet sniff” group sniffed their hands, which had been contaminated with water laden with pneumococcus bacteria.