Researchers ‘pathogen map’ NYC subway system, find bubonic plague, anthrax

Researchers ‘pathogen map’ NYC subway system, find bubonic plague, anthrax

[Ed. – Don’t lick.]

Researchers have mapped out the particles found across the city’s subway system, and they found a range of DNA from mozzarella cheese to the Bubonic plague.

The “PathoMap,” created by Weill Cornell Medical College researchers, maps out microbes and pathogens found on hand rails, kiosks,  benches, turnstiles and passenger seats. The research team used nylon swabs to collect DNA in 24 subway lines in all five boroughs over a period of 17 months.

Researchers say most of the DNA found across the subway system is harmless, like the cheese DNA, but the study also found some drug-resistant, disease-causing bacteria, including some DNA fragments associated with anthrax and the Bubonic plague.

Other disease-causing bacteria found in the subway system include E. coli, staph infections, meningitis, sepsis and strep infections. …

The Bronx had the most number of different bacteria species, followed by Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. …

 As Weill-Cornell University scientist Chris Mason, one of the authors of the study, told Gothamist, “You wouldn’t want to lick all the poles [in the subway system], even though you’d probably be fine.”

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