"In a new study, we will be looking at the risks pets may pose in the transmission of these bacterial diseases that have been identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a huge and growing public issue," explained lead researcher Nigel French, professor at Massey University in New Zealand.

"These resistant infections have been found in most household pets and the bacteria are spread by fluids and faeces," he added.

"Animals clean their backside by licking it, so they can get faecal contamination in their mouth and then lick humans. That is how the infection could be transmitted," French emphasised.

"It underlines what most people already know, you should not let your dog lick your face," he added.

If the dog licks your hands, immediately wash your hands afterwards. Previous research has suggested that people who let their dogs lick their mouths could catch gum disease from the pets. Left untreated, gum disease can turn into periodontitis, an inflammatory disease of the mouth tissue, according to a report published in the Archives of Oral Biology.


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