By Drain Doctor on 05/02/2016

Are you one of those people who always places a paper liner on the loo seat before sitting down on the toilet? If so, it’s likely that you’re doing it to avoid catching something nasty from someone else's 'splashes' that may be left on the seat.

Well, those of you who have mysophobia (an excessive fear of germs) will be disappointed to learn that those liners may not actually do anything to prevent disease; they’re more about providing comfort and reassurance to the user. At least that's according to infectious disease specialist Dr William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

"That's because toilet seats are not a vehicle for the transmission of any infectious agents - you won't catch anything," Dr Schaffner explained to the Huffington Post.

Basically, the reason why those liners exist is because of toilets' inherent "ick" factor, he says.

That's not to say that there aren't disease-causing bacteria such as E.coli and streptococcus on a toilet seat. But as Dr Philip Tierno pointed out to Everyday Health, the skin on your bum serves as an effective, protective barrier.

What does help to impact on the spread of gastrointestinal illness is good old-fashioned hand washing.