Kiss evolved to spread germs?
Last Updated: Saturday, October 31, 2009, 00:00

London: Kissing is considered a symbol of
love and affection, but scientists claim it may have evolved
for reasons less fascinating and more practical.

The scientists believe kissing is developed to pass on a
dangerous bug called cytomegalovirus from man to woman.

The virus, which lurks in saliva, normally causes no
problem but can prove dangerous during pregnancy, killing the
unborn baby or causing birth defects, including problems
ranging from deafness to cerebral palsy, claim the scientists.

"Female inoculation with a specific male`s
cytomegalovirus is most efficiently achieved through
mouth-to-mouth contact and saliva exchange, particularly where
the flow of saliva is from the male to the typically shorter
female," said lead researcher Colin Hendrie.

However, kissing the same person for about six months
helps the woman build up her immunity that minimises the risk
of birth defects, Hendrie said in his writing in Medical
Hypotheses journal.

As the relationships progresses and the kisses become
more passionate, huge amount of virus passes to the woman,
helping her build up her immunity.

"By the time she becomes pregnant, the odds of her
unborn baby becoming infected are much lower," Hendrie added.

Earlier, scientists have claimed that kissing acts as
a form of evolutionary quality control, with saliva holding
clues to fertility, health and genes.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, October 31, 2009, 00:00

Tag: KissGerms

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