Navigation Links
Do 3 meals a day keep fungi away?
Date:10/15/2009

October 15, 2009 - (BRONX, NY) - The fact that they eat a lot and often may explain why most people and other mammals are protected from the majority of fungal pathogens, according to research from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

The research, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, showed that the elevated body temperature of mammals the familiar 98.6o F or 37o C in people is too high for the vast majority of potential fungal invaders to survive.

"Fungal strains undergo a major loss of ability to grow as we move to mammalian temperatures," said Arturo Casadevall, M.D., Ph.D., chair and professor of microbiology & immunology at Einstein. Dr. Casadevall conducted the study in conjunction with Vincent A. Robert of the Utrecht, Netherlands-based Fungal Biodiversity Center, also known as Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures.

"Our study makes the argument that our warm temperatures may have evolved to protect us against fungal diseases," said Dr. Casadevall. "And being warm-blooded and therefore largely resistant to fungal infections may help explain the dominance of mammals after the age of dinosaurs."

There are roughly 1.5 million fungal species. Of these, only a few hundred are pathogenic to mammals. Fungal infections in people are often the result of an impaired immune function. By contrast, an estimated 270,000 fungal species are pathogenic to plants and 50,000 species infect insects. Frogs and other amphibians are prone to fungal pathogens, one of which, chytridiomycosis, is currently raging through frogs worldwide. Fungi are also important in the decomposition of plants.

In their study, the researchers investigated how 4,082 different fungal strains from the Utrecht collection grew in temperatures ranging from chilly 4o C or 39o F to desert hot 45o C or 113o F. They found that nearly all of them grew well in temperatures up to 30o C. Beyond that, though, the number of successful species declined by 6 percent for every one degree centigrade increase. Most could not grow at mammalian temperatures. Those that did well in hotter conditions were often from warm-blooded sources.

Dr. Casadevall noted that the current study covered thousands of fungal strains and made use of a computerized database of the Utrecht collection. In the past, this type of research would have required retrieving this information manually, which Dr. Casadevall noted would have been a very time-consuming task.

"This was possible only because we could use bioinformatic tools to analyze the records in the culture collection," he said. "There is no way to do a study like this without such technology given the enormous numbers of samples and the labor involved."

The results of the study, he added, could help explain why mammals maintain a seemingly energy-wasteful lifestyle requiring a great deal of food. By contrast, reptiles need only eat once a day or even less often.

"The payoff, however, may be that mammals are much more resistant to soil and plant-borne fungal pathogens than are reptiles and other cold-blooded vertebrates," said Dr. Casadevall.

This stronger immunity to fungi could explain why mammals rose to dominance after the dinosaur extinction event 65 million years ago. Indeed, the fungal bloom that occurred then may be one reason for the extinction of dinosaurs, a possibility outlined in a 2004 Fungal Genetics and Biology paper from Dr. Casadevall.


'/>"/>

Contact: Deirdre Branley
sciencenews@einstein.yu.edu
718-430-3101
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. People who skip meals: are they better off?
2. U of M research finds disordered eating less common among teen girls who regularly eat family meals
3. In spiders, size matters: Small males are more often meals
4. Young adults need to make more time for healthy meals
5. Regular family meals result in better eating habits for adolescents
6. Mechanisms of plant-fungi symbiosis characterized by DOE Joint Genome Institute
7. Secrets of cooperation between trees and fungi revealed
8. Fungi can tell us about the origin of sex chromosomes
9. Fungi have a hand in depleted uraniums environmental fate
10. Fungi the cause of many outbreaks of disease but mostly ignored
11. International experts collect alpine fungi in Beartooth Mountains of Montana
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Do 3 meals a day keep fungi away?
(Date:10/4/2017)... 2017  GCE Solutions, a global clinical research organization (CRO), announces ... solution on October 4, 2017. Shadow is designed to assist medical ... policy 0070 of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in meeting the ... ... ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... HAMPTON, Va. , Aug. 15 2017   ivWatch LLC ... effectiveness of intravenous (IV) therapy, today announced receipt of its ISO ... (QMS) developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO®). ... ivWatch Model 400 Continuous Monitoring device for ... "This ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... , June 30, 2017 Today, ... developer and supplier of face and eye tracking ... Featured Product provider program. "Artificial ... innovative way to monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels ... from being able to detect fatigue and prevent ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... At its national board ... Suneel I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research scientist of Minnesota-based Advanced ... for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame . ASTER Labs is ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient ... Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which will launch this week. ... among health care professionals to enhance the patient care experience ... and other health care professionals to help women who have ... ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and ... rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new look is part of a transformation ... moves into a significant growth period. , It will also expand its service offering ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Oct. 10, 2017 SomaGenics announced the receipt ... to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to be the ... RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells using NGS methods. ... need to accelerate development of approaches to analyze the ... "New techniques for measuring levels of mRNAs in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: