Malign fungal entities may be breeding and evolving in your dishwasher, boffins warn, saying that the deadly toadstool-esque kitchen triffid yeast creatures have already become almost unkillable and may soon mutate into frightful blobominations able to launch out their deadly spores to "colonise" unwary nearby humans with horrific consequences.
The explicit warning, headed bluntly "My dishwasher is trying to kill me" comes in a statement annoucing publication of a new study into "extremotolerant" fungi dwelling in the world's dishwashers, laundry appliances and coffee machines.
Dishwashers in 101 cities on six continents were examined during the survey, no doubt by biohazard-suited boffins tooled up with a fearsome arsenal of chemical-warfare weaponry, flamethrowers etc for use in the event of a toadstooloid spore attack.
According to the investigators, some 62 per cent of the dishwashers contained "potentially pathogenic fungal flora". No less than 56 per cent of these were host to the "polyextremotolerant" black yeasts Exophiala dermatitidis and E phaeomuriformis. It seems that the scientists found the yeast monsters all but impossible to kill:
Both Exophiala species showed remarkable tolerance to heat, high salt concentrations, aggressive detergents, and to both acid and alkaline water.
This is a serious business, because the deadly black yeastoid colonies burgeoning along the rubber sealing strip are quite capable of "colonising" the human body. They are particularly prone to getting into the lungs of cystic fibrosis sufferers, with fatal results, but the filthy fungoloid monstrosities occasionally cause "fatal infections in healthy humans".
According to the investigating boffins:
The invasion of black yeasts into our homes represents a potential health risk.
The discovery of this widespread presence of extremophilic fungi in some of our common household appliances suggests that these organisms have embarked on an extraordinary evolutionary process that could pose a significant risk to human health in the future.
That's quite enough for us here on the Reg fungus peril desk. The next time we approach our (or any) dishwasher we shall be clad in a full positive-pressure flameproof atmosphere suit. Having taken the precaution of lobbing a lit Molotov cocktail into the infested machine and slamming the door - to temporarily stun the hive within - we shall rip the entire unit from its attachments and abandon it in an unpopulated area pending the arrival of military forces who can render it safe from a distance using thermobaric warheads.
You can read the terrifying paper Dishwashers – A man-made ecological niche accommodating human opportunistic fungal pathogens online here in the journal Fungal Biology with the relevant subscription. ®