London's Dirtiest Tube Lines Have Been Revealed

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Are you one of those people who considers antibacterial hand gel a handbag essential? No? Well, you might want to consider becoming one if you use London’s transport network regularly.
A recent study found 121 different bacteria and mould strains on public transport across the capital – including nine bacteria of the world’s most dangerous superbugs, the Evening Standard reported. The data, collected by microbiologists from London Metropolitan University, was taken via swabs from handrails, seats and walls, across Underground lines, buses and taxis.
The Tube was the dirtiest mode of transport, with 95 bacteria recorded, followed by taxis with around 40. Perhaps surprisingly, buses were found to be the cleanest, with 37 varieties of bacteria found.
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If you’re a clean freak, you might want to avoid the Victoria line – the dirtiest on the Underground, which boasted 22 different types of bacteria on board, including four of the world’s most threatening.

The dirtiest Tube lines revealed

1. Victoria line (22 kinds of bacteria)
2. Circle line (20)
3. Piccadilly line (20)
4. Jubilee line (18)
5. Northern line (18)
6. District line (17)
7. Waterloo and City line (16)
8. Central line (16)
9. Hammersmith and City line (14)
10. Bakerloo line (13)
11. Metropolitan line (11)
Swabs taken on the Victoria line contained Staphylococcus Aureus, a known cause of toxic shock syndrome in women who wear tampons for too long, E.coli and the dangerous antibiotic-resistant Klebsiella Pneumoniae, which killed 16 patients in a UK hospital in 2014 and left 62 with serious blood poisoning, Wired reported. Klebsiella Pneumoniae was also found inside a private hire taxi.
The Circle and Piccadilly lines were close behind in the dirtiness ranking, with both home to 20 bacteria. At the other end of the spectrum was the Metropolitan line, with just 11 bacteria.
Dr. Paul Matewele, who led the study, said he was shocked by the variety of bacteria he uncovered. "[Surprise] is an understatement. We were totally confounded. The diversity of bacteria growing on the media was quite a shock," he told Wired.
"Not only did we find potentially life-threatening bacteria which behaved like superbugs when tested against antibiotics, but other forms of mould and bacteria that can be harmful to human health were discovered as part of this research," he said.
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Healthy people need not worry though, he said. The bacteria are mainly problematic if they’re transmitted between sick patients in hospitals and those with weakened immune systems.
But proper hygiene is a must if you want to avoid picking up urinary tract infections, pneumonia, septicaemia, meningitis, and diarrhoea on your commute, Matewele added.
In light of the findings, Jill Collis, director of health, safety and environment for Transport for London (TfL), sought to reassure the public by reiterating that the Tube is "extremely safe" and that trains and stations are “professionally cleaned throughout the day and night".
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