How many times have we been told to wash our hands before sitting down at the supper table or after touching money and other dirty surfaces? By washing up we think that we’re clean and microorganism-free. We have baths, cook our food, treat our sewage and even cover our mouths when we cough and sneeze to prevent the spread of those tiny dirty particles that could make us sick.
Fungi are eukaryotic, heterotrophic organisms. Fungi include both single-celled yeasts and multi-cellular filamentous fungi. Many fungal species are able to survive in oligotrophic environments (which are areas relatively low in plant nutrients and containing abundant oxygen in the deeper parts). Fungi scavenge nutrients from the substrate that they colonize, or from the air or water in which they live. Fungi can produce secondary metabolites, some of which are toxins. Some fungal species and the metabolites they produce are human pathogens or allergens.