Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Do Three Meals a Day Keep Fungi Away?

19.10.2009
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 98.6° F or 37° 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 – 4° C or 39° F – to desert hot – 45° C or 113° F. They found that nearly all of them grew well in temperatures up to 30° 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. (http://www.einstein.yu.edu/home/newsArchive.asp?id=63)

The research paper, “Vertebrate Endothermy Restricts Most Fungi as Potential Pathogens,” appeared in the October 13 online edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

About Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University is one of the nation’s premier centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation. It is home to 2,775 faculty members, 625 M.D. students, 225 Ph.D. students, 125 students in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program, and 380 postdoctoral research fellows. In 2008, Einstein received more than $130 million in support from the NIH. This includes the funding of major research centers at Einstein in diabetes, cancer, liver disease, and AIDS. Other areas where the College of Medicine is concentrating its efforts include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities. Through its extensive affiliation network involving eight hospitals and medical centers in the Bronx, Manhattan and Long Island – which includes Montefiore Medical Center, The University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for Einstein – the College of Medicine runs one of the largest post-graduate medical training programs in the United States, offering approximately 150 residency programs to more than 2,500 physicians in training.

Deirdre Branley | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.einstein.yu.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New concept: Can Resuscitation be delayed?
31.03.2015 | Europäische Akademie Bozen - European Academy Bozen/Bolzano

nachricht For drivers with telescopic lenses, driving experience and training affect road test results
30.03.2015 | Wolters Kluwer Health

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Smarte Fassaden mit Energiespareffekt

Gläserne Bürobauten gehören zu den großen Energiefressern. Sie müssen aufwändig klimatisiert werden. Ein von Fraunhofer-Forschern und Designern entwickeltes Fassadenelement für Glasfronten soll den Energieverbrauch senken. Dazu nutzt es die Wärmenergie der Sonne. Ein Demonstrator ist auf der Hannover Messe zu sehen.

Fast 40 Prozent beträgt der Anteil von Gebäuden am gesamten Energieverbrauch in Deutschland. Das Heizen, Kühlen und Lüften von Wohnhäusern, Büroimmobilien und...

Im Focus: Lizard activity levels can help scientists predict environmental change

Research study provides new tools to assess warming temperatures

Spring is here and ectotherms, or animals dependent on external sources to raise their body temperature, are becoming more active. Recent studies have shown...

Im Focus: Der Werkstoff macht’s: Nichtoxidkeramik eröffnet neue Perspektiven für den Chemie- und Anlagenbau

Herausragende chemische, thermische und tribologische Eigenschaften prädestinieren siliziuminfiltriertes Siliziumcarbid für die Produktion großvolumiger keramischer Bauteile.

Ein neuartiges Verfahren überwindet nun verfahrenstechnischen Grenzen konventioneller Formgebungsmethoden. Dadurch können  Komponenten mit großen...

Im Focus: Hannover Messe 2015: Saving energy with smart façades

Glass-fronted office buildings are some of the biggest energy consumers, and regulating their temperature is a big job. Now a façade element developed by Fraunhofer researchers and designers for glass fronts is to reduce energy consumption by harnessing solar thermal energy. A demonstrator version will be on display at Hannover Messe.

In Germany, buildings account for almost 40 percent of all energy usage. Heating, cooling and ventilating homes, offices and public spaces is expensive – and...

Im Focus: Nonoxide ceramics open up new perspectives for the chemical and plant engineering

Outstanding chemical, thermal and tribological properties predestine silicon carbide for the production of ceramic components of high volume. A novel method now overcomes the procedural and technical limitations of conventional design methods for the production of components with large differences in wall thickness and demanding undercuts.

Extremely hard as diamond, shrinking-free manufacturing, resistance to chemicals, wear and temperatures up to 1300 °C: Silicon carbide (SiSiC) bundles all...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Holzbau mit Bestand - Thema der Norddeutschen Holzbautagung 2015

01.04.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Training für LNG-Anwender aus dem maritimen und nichtmaritimen Bereich

01.04.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Wie lässt sich Nachhaltigkeit messen und bewerten?

01.04.2015 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Der Clou der Grashüpfer - Oldenburger Hörforscher ergründet Hörsystem von Heuschrecken

01.04.2015 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Auf das Mischverhältnis kommt es an: Wespen achten auf Zusammensetzung ihrer Sexualpheromone

01.04.2015 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Wissenschaftler stellen Prototyp für Hightech-Inspektion von Windkraftanlagen vor

01.04.2015 | HANNOVER MESSE