London’s Most Germ-Ridden Tube Line Revealed

Guy Parsons Guy Parsons

Klebsiella Pneumoniae

Deadly antibiotic-resistant germs are lurking on the London Underground, according to a new study.

Insurance company Staveley Head sent fearless microbiologist Dr Paul Matewele onto the London transport system to swab hand rails, arm rests and seats. And his analysis of London’s lurgies will trouble even the hardiest commuter’s stomach.

Germs on the London Underground

All in all, 121 different strains of pathogen were found in the study. Some notable horrors included Klebsiella which can lead to antibiotic-resistant pneumonia, Enterococcus Facaealis, which comes from poop, Pasteurella, which commonly lives on mice and rats, and Moraxella, found in mucus. It’s almost enough to make you wash your hands before you dig into that morning pastry.

And which line wins the turd-y trophy for Grossest Surfaces? Let’s just say it’s bad news for Brixtonites:

Dirtiest tube lines by number of different bacteria types found:

21 Victoria ?
20 Piccadilly
19 Circle
17 Northern
16 Waterloo & City
16 Jubilee
16 District
15 Central
14 Hammersmith and City
11 Metropolitan


In February, a cheeky information request from Metro revealed that most tube seats have NEVER been washed:

‘Seats on the District, Jubilee, Northern, Circle, Piccadilly, Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City lines are never shampooed.

The only lines where seats get a wash are the Bakerloo, Victoria and Central (and even then it only happens every six months to a year).’


Check out the full results of the study or geek out over TfL’s new colour-coded bus map.

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