Traces of herpes have been found on a copy of EL James’ popular erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.
Scientists in Belgium were undertaking an experiment to see how germ-covered library books are when the bestselling series tested positive for the virus.
Herpes was found on one other title among the examined books, Belgian detective writer Pieter Aspe’s Tango.
Reactions to the findings have been mixed, with one Time reader asking, “Are we slut-shaming books now?”.
Traces of cocaine were also found in EL James' series, after scientists conducted toxicology screenings on the library's ten most-borrowed books.
University professors confirmed that the concentrations were minimal enough for those touching the books not to feel any “pharmacological effect”, but present enough for them to test positive for the drug.
Scientists said it would be impossible for people to contract herpes simply by reading the novel, and confirmed there is no public health risk connected with borrowing library books.
The adaptation of James’ chart-topper is set for release on Valentine’s Day weekend in 2015, after shooting was delayed when Charlie Hunnam dropped out of playing Christian Grey.
The film will now star British actor Jamie Dornan with Dakota Johnson in the role of Anastasia Steele,
Fifty Shades of Grey follows the destructive, sexually-charged relationship between business magnate Grey and a college student intrigued by his charisma.
To date, the Fifty Shades trilogy has sold over 70 million copies worldwide, one of the fastest-selling series of all time.