Is Kissing Vaccinating, Probiotic or Harmonizing? 

Photo by Omer Lopez on Unsplash

Talking of kissing seems an unpardonable sin in the times of Covid when everybody's mouth is wrapped. My only defense is vaccine is being rolled out. Now it's time to spread viruses, the better ones, so that humanity becomes immunized to the evil. And what could be better way of spreading germs than kissing, which, as per a 2014 study, swap over 80 million bacteria and countless viruses in a single episode.

What are Vaccines?  

Vaccines are dead or attenuated germs or their genome pieces or protein components that trigger some kind of identification and destruction mechanism in recipients. Pfizer's and Moderna's Covid vaccines are mRNA, while Indian Covaxin and English Astrazeneca's contain viruses. 

In nature, vaccination keeps happening all the time passively through mild infections, through contacts, kissing or vectors. Point is can kissing help expand Covid immunization? I mean what if an immunized person kisses many people? and they to many more, and so on? Can it spread immunity in the same manner as it spreads disease? Just a thought! 

If you find idea of vaccination through kissing outright rejectable for it being too dangerous  and impractical, there are some other pleas for humanity to consider unwrapping its mouth sooner or later. Of course! it could be dangerous for humanity as it may lead to more intensive Covid outbreaks and other pandemics. It may also be dangerous to vaccine developing pharma companies.

Let's look for some less dangerous stuff, let's talk of probiotics, which sound safer, and nice, and healthy, and pro-life.      

Rush for Probiotics 

Rush for probiotics is growing in the same manner as is it growing for sanitation. Through sanitation we are trying to kill all the germs and through probiotics we are trying to acquire the good germs. Worldwide rush for microbiome and probiotics has now gone beyond probiotic pills or drinks and is now expanding in newly formed domain of probiotic cosmetics. Germs sound bad and probiotics nice, germs remind us of sickness and probiotics of health and life. 

On probiotic potential of kissing the most fascinating work was done by a dutch group in 2014 which caught attention of the world. Although their work was limited to understanding development of oral flora only, more research is needed. Following image is from their paper which plots heat map of many bacterial species pre and post kissing.   

Bacterial heatmap following intimate kissing. Image from journal Microbiome (2014: 2/41) 'Shaping the oral microbiota through intimate kissing'  

Mouth to mouth contact isn't only a human phenomenon, it is seen in many life forms and it might be serving many purposes, including that of communicating the sense of intimacy and trust. Coming back to probiotic aspect, theoretically speaking, kissing becomes more productive when not restricted merely between family members or very close contacts as it then expands the possibility of flora becoming richer and diverged. This could be the reason why many civilizations and tribes around the world have wider culture of kissing. Some kiss even to animals, french are known to kiss their cows - mouth to mouth or mouth to tongue. 

Do Bacteria Bring Harmony? 

Research suggests humans have more germs in their body than the human cells they have, and those germs are so essential that it is virtually impossible to survive without them. And it is because of this reason why there is so much rush for probiotics. There are already some companies selling healthy humans' poop for administering to sick people. Furthermore, studies indicate that it is not only our health that is dependent on germs, even our thoughts and feelings are. One unpublished work suggests when germs of one person are transferred to another the recipient starts thinking and behaving a bit similar to donor. In China there has been a long held culture of administering a bit of mom's poop to neonates to enhance their immunity and also to make them more familial. 

Part of our thinking is due to the germs we carry and this is why the deepest of our core is called 'gut feeling'. Our gut or intestine has lot of neurons and lot of germs, and our 'gut feeling' might actually be coming more from the germs than from our human cells. People kiss their loved ones, and vice-versa, kissing might bring love and harmony through microbial route.