Washington: A new study has confirmed the presence of harmful fungal pathogens in our most commonly used household appliances, especially in the dishwasher seals.
According to the researchers, electrical equipment such as dishwashers, washing machines and coffee machines serve as the perfect habitat for the pathogens due to the moist and hot environment.
The study showed 62pc of the dishwashers contained fungi on the rubber band in the door, out of which, 56pc included the polyextremotolerant black yeasts Exophiala dermatitidis and E. phaeomuriformis.
Both Exophiala species displayed remarkable tolerance to heat, high salt concentrations, aggressive detergents, and to both acid and alkaline water.
This explains why the fungi survived even in high temperatures between 60º to 80ºC, and despite the use of aggressive detergents and high concentrations of salt in the dishwasher.
Researchers say that this is a combination of extreme properties not previously observed in fungi.
Exophiala dermatitidis is frequently encountered as an agent of human disease and is also known to be involved in pulmonary colonization of patients with cystic fibrosis.
It has been found to be occasionally causing fatal infections in healthy humans. Furthermore, the invasion of black yeasts into our homes represents a potential health risk.
The study has been published in the British Mycological Society journal, Fungal Biology.