There’s no shortage of nasty germs in the world that can make us sick. The most common ones tend to be those passed on from person to person through methods such as respiratory droplets and aerosols, fecal-oral contamination (touching traces of poo from someone’s unwashed hands), or even sex. But there are other insidious buggers lurking elsewhere in the environment, including the very soil underneath our feet.
Many of these dirt-loving pathogens primarily call soil their home, and only rarely cause problems when they inadvertently end up in people; others regularly infect people and animals, with their time in soil being one part of their complex life cycle. But they can all potentially cause serious harm when we come into contact with them. Here are some of the dirtiest germs out there.