Pathogenic bacteria and viruses , Microscopic germs that cause infectious diseases , Viral and bacterial infection , 3d illustration  N

New research suggests exposure to certain germs found outside can help germs and dust found inside develop a resistance to antibiotics, reports Live Science.

The germs found outside can change the resistance of germs found inside by exposing them to genes that they otherwise would have never encountered, according to the research, which was published in PLOS Pathogens.

Some studies have found that indoor dust can possess antibiotic-resistant genes, but none could tell if those genes in the dust could be transferred from bacteria to bacteria.

The fact that most Americans spend the great majority of their time indoors make the thought of antibiotic-resistance being passed on between indoor germs concerning for experts. Theoretically, a microbe from the outdoors that would otherwise cause no harm to humans could carry with it an anti-bacteria resistant gene to a dangerous indoor pathogen. Researchers say situations like this would make treating an infected person harder.

Read the rest of Live Science’s story here to learn more about the study’s findings and what they could mean.