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Killer organisms rapidly evolving to live in dishwashers and coffee makers

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KILLER-DishwasherRAPIDLY evolving organisms which could kill are making new homes in dishwashers, coffee makers and other household items.

Scientists say the potentially deadly fungus is adapting to modern kitchen environments wherever there is moisture and are evolving at lightning speed in Darwinian terms.

Microbiologists who studied almost 200 domestic dishwashers found they are the prefect breeding ground for the fungus which is associated with potentially deadly illnesses.

The moist and hot environment, combined with the alkaline water caused by the dishwasher tablets, means that the machines appear to have created a previously unknown and serious threat to human health, their research paper says.

In the study 62 per cent of dishwashers contained fungi on the rubber band in the door.

More than half of this was the black yeasts Exophiala dermatitidis and E. phaeomuriformis which are known to be dangerous to human health.

In the British Mycological Society publication Fungal Biology, Dr Polona Zalar of the University of Ljubljana, said:

“These organisms have embarked on an extraordinary evolutionary process that could pose a significant risk to human health.

“The potential hazard they represent should not be overlooked.”

Her co-author Nina Gunde-Cimerman added: “One thing that is not in the report is that we tested the dishes after they had been cleaned in these dishwashers and they were full of this black yeast, so too the cutlery that you put in your mouth. We just don't know how serious this could be.”

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