Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'My dishwasher is trying to kill me': New research finds harmful fungal pathogens living in dishwasher seals

Date:
June 20, 2011
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
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 shows that these sites make perfect habitats for extremotolerant fungi (which includes black yeasts). Some of these are potentially dangerous to human health.

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 60ē to 80ēC 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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Zalar, M. Novak, G.S. de Hoog, N. Gunde-Cimerman. Dishwashers – A man-made ecological niche accommodating human opportunistic fungal pathogens. Fungal Biology, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.funbio.2011.04.007

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "'My dishwasher is trying to kill me': New research finds harmful fungal pathogens living in dishwasher seals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110620133138.htm>.
Elsevier. (2011, June 20). 'My dishwasher is trying to kill me': New research finds harmful fungal pathogens living in dishwasher seals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110620133138.htm
Elsevier. "'My dishwasher is trying to kill me': New research finds harmful fungal pathogens living in dishwasher seals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110620133138.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — The Johnson family lost their battle with the Chesterfield County, Virginia Planning Commission to allow Tucker, their pet pig, to stay in their home, but refuse to let the board keep Tucker away. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins