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Blog - 3 Quick Facts about Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB)

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February 27, 2018

3 Quick Facts about Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB)


Ammonia-Oxidizing-Bacteria (AOB) are also known as “Nitrifying Bacteria.” That means AOB are microorganisms that consume ammonia for energy and are present wherever there is ammonia - so pretty much everywhere in nature.

Ammonia is a critical part of the nitrogen cycle. Nitrogen makes up 78 of the Earth’s atmosphere! It also exists on the human body, but AOB can no longer naturally be found on modern human skin. AOB are very delicate, and modern hygiene routines have scrubbed them out of the human skin microbiome. Mother Dirt’s AO+ Mist sprays AOB back on! (Genius, right?)

We’ve been told bacteria can be bad for people - can AOB do any harm?

Nope! When AOB are on your skin, all they do is consume the ammonia and urea in your sweat and produce two key byproducts: Nitrite, and Nitric Oxide (NO). Nitrite is a key anti-microbial (yes, AOB are good bacteria that kill bad bacteria), and Nitric Oxide (NO) is a key anti-inflammatory molecule that is critical for skin and general health. When you stop sweating, AOB stop eating. And if, in the extremely unlikely case you have a bad reaction, just shower with some soap and the AOB will wash right off!

Where do AOB live, other than in the AO+ Mist bottle?

Everywhere! AOB are ubiquitous in nature. They live in rivers, oceans, farmland, forests, plants, animals… you get the picture. If you don’t, check out this cool animation and learn more ;)