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:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has ... CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to ... the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software ... the company. Dr. Bready served as CEO ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... , March 23, 2016 ... Interesse erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit ... Inc. (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein ... dass das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um ... der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... and SANDY, Utah , ... which operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics and ... launch of a project to establish the informatics infrastructure ... NSO has been contracted by the Ontario ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced ... this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... A person commits a crime, and the detective ... the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness ... (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria that ... It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, cutting-edge ... illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. ... microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: