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Dishwashers an ideal environment for black yeast-like fungi

July 9, 2013 at 9:45 PM
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MERSIN, Turkey, July 9 (UPI) -- High temperature, high moisture and alkaline pH in many dishwashers can provide a habitat for harmful germs such as black yeast fungi, Turkish researchers say.

Aylin Dogen of Mersin University and colleagues said the study involved 177 private dwellings. The researchers obtained 893 samples using cotton swabs moistened with physiological saline from dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, bath-tubs, bathroom walls and shower heads.

The study, published in the journal Medical Mycology, found

Exophiala, or black yeast were most common; followed by Rhodotorula, or red yeast; and Candida parapsilosis, or white yeast.

This study was a follow up to an earlier study that found 62 percent of the dishwashers were positive for fungi and 56 percent of these accommodated Exophiala.

The study, published in the journal Fungal Biology, found 62 percent of the dishwashers were positive for fungi and 56 percent of these accommodated Exophiala.

Both Exophiala species are known to be able to cause systemic disease in humans and frequently colonize the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis, the study said.

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