Humans can detect if a person has a sexually transmitted disease by using the sense of smell, according to a new study.
Men infected with gonorrhea smelled "putrid" to women in a study which aims to know if a person's scent could tell whether they had a sexually transmitted disease, MSNBC reports.
Researchers from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Novosibirsk in Russia were inspired by the theory that if animals were not as attracted to the scents of other animals when they were infected with disease, humans wouldn't also.
“Our research revealed that infection disease reduces odor attractiveness in humans …” lead author Mikhail Moshkin, wrote in the research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, according to the report.
Study participants included 34 men ages 17 to 25. Out of those, 16 were healthy, 13 had gonorrhea and 5 had received medical treatment for gonorrhea.
Researchers collected cotton pads soaked in sweat from the men’s armpits and asked women to smell the pads.
Women ranked the smell of infected men less than half as high as the healthy ones or those who had undergone treatment.
Women also described the scent of infected men as "putrid," according to the report.
"We can conclude that unpleasant body odor of infected persons can reduce the probability of a dangerous partnership,” the scientists said.