Body height, body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) are the main traits characterizing human body morphology. Studies show that these traits are related to attractiveness and, therefore, according to an evolutionary point of view, are supposed to be honest signals of biological quality. If the immunocompetence handicap principal (IHP) is true, people with more attractive values of these traits should be more immunologically competent. To test this, we analyzed whether nasal and throat colonization with potentially pathogenic bacteria is related to body height and BMI in both sexes and to WHR in females.
Methods: 103 healthy females and 90 healthy males (with the mean age of 21.4 and 22.8, respectively) participated in the study. The heights and weights were self-reported and waist and hip circumferences measured. Six potentially pathogenic species (with the most common Staphylococcus aureus) isolated from nasal and throat swabs were identified by colony morphology, standard biochemical assays, and latex tests. To compare carrier and noncarrier individuals, Kruskal-Wallis test was used.