Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

'My dishwasher is trying to kill me'

21.06.2011
New research finds harmful fungal pathogens living in dishwasher seals

A potentially pathogenic fungus has found a home living in extreme conditions in some of the most common household appliances, researchers have found.

A new paper published in the British Mycological Society journal, Fungal Biology, published by Elsevier, shows that these sites make perfect habitats for extremotolerant fungi (which includes black yeasts). Some of these are potentially dangerous to human health.

Modern living comes with an increasing need for electrical household equipment such as dishwashers, washing machines and coffee machines. A characteristic of these appliances is a moist and hot environment. In the case of dishwashers, high temperatures between 60º to 80ºC are intermittently produced and aggressive detergents and high concentrations of salt are used in each washing cycle.

The article focuses on the occurrence of potentially pathogenic fungal flora located in dishwashers, over a sample of private homes from 101 cities on 6 continents. 62% of the dishwashers contained fungi on the rubber band in door, 56% of which accommodated the polyextremotolerant black yeasts Exophiala dermatitidis and E. phaeomuriformis. Both Exophiala species showed remarkable tolerance to heat, high salt concentrations, aggressive detergents, and to both acid and alkaline water. This is a combination of extreme properties not previously observed in fungi.

Exophiala dermatitidis is rarely isolated from nature, but is frequently encountered as an agent of human disease, both in compromised and healthy people. It is also known to be involved in pulmonary colonization of patients with cystic fibrosis, and also occasionally causes fatal infections in healthy humans. The invasion of black yeasts into our homes represents a potential health risk.

The discovery of this widespread presence of extremophilic fungi in some of our common household appliances suggests that these organisms have embarked on an extraordinary evolutionary process that could pose a significant risk to human health in the future.

The article, "Dishwashers – A man-made ecological niche accommodating human opportunistic fungal pathogens" by P. Zalar, M. Novak, G.S. de Hoog and N. Gunde-Cimerman appears in the journal, Fungal Biology (doi:10.1016/j.funbio.2011.04.007).

Notes for Editors

Full text of the article is available to credentialed journalists upon request; contact newsroom@elsevier.com. Journalists wishing to interview the author may contact Nina Gunde-Cimerman, at nina.gunde-cimerman@bf.uni-lj.si.

Full article citation: P. Zalar, M. Novak, G.S. de Hoog, N. Gunde-Cimerman, Dishwashers - A man-made ecological niche accommodating human opportunistic fungal pathogens, Fungal Biology, In Press, Corrected Proof, ISSN 1878-6146, DOI: 10.1016/j.funbio.2011.04.007.

About Fungal Biology

Fungal Biology ( www.elsevier.com/locate/funbio) is a journal of British Mycological Society. Fungal Biology is the international research journal of the British Mycological Society. Fungal Biology publishes original contributions in all fields of basic and applied research involving fungi and fungus-like organisms (including filamentous fungi, yeasts, lichen fungi, oomycetes, and slime moulds). These fields include biochemistry, biodeterioration, biotechnology, cell biology, developmental biology, disease control, ecology, environment, evolution, fungal physiology, genetics, genomics, geomycology, insect pathology, medical mycology, molecular genetics, mutualistic interactions, physiology, plant pathology, secondary metabolites, taxonomy and systematics, and techniques.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier's online solutions include SciVerse ScienceDirect, SciVerse Scopus, Reaxys, MD Consult and Nursing Consult, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite and MEDai's Pinpoint Review, which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world-leading publisher and information provider, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Fin Galligan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.elsevier.com/locate/funbio
http://www.elsevier.com

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>