Researchers in Germany have found that while antimicrobial fabrics are effective at preventing the growth of odour-forming bacteria found in perspiration, they have no impact on the healthy bacteria found on the wearer's skin.

The tests carried out at the Hohenstein Institute required volunteers to wear T-shirts next to the skin for at least eight hours a day for a period of four weeks. The garments contained an antibacterial spinning additive (polyester fibres containing silver) or an antibacterial finishing treatment containing silver.

Studies of the skin flora found no significant difference in the total number or type of bacteria – leading the scientists to conclude this type of clothing is safe