King trumpet mushroom, also known as king oyster mushroom, is not only good for humans, but it can work wonders for hookworm problems
Have you ever heard of hookworm (A. caninum)? It is a nematode that impacts the small intestine of dogs, cats, and other domestic animals. Hookworm can have a major impact on the health of your pet, particularly in areas of digestion. A domestic animal with hookworm may have trouble eating, and the problem can lead to a shortened life span.
King trumpet mushroom is a predator of nematodes and part of the genus Pleurotus. This entire genus has the capacity to trap and consume nematodes. Check out this video to hear me talk about it more, and read on for additional information.
An article from MNN shares the process used by the mushroom to catch the nematodes. “The hyphae, or threadlike filaments that form the majority of the fungus, release a chemical that attracts nematodes. As soon as a nematode touches the hyphae, the fungus unleashes its weapon — a sticky lollipop-like nob with a toxin that paralyses the hapless prey.”
Why the king trumpet mushroom deserves the royal treatment
Not all types of mushrooms demonstrate this carnivorous action of capturing and consuming nematodes.
The report I referenced in the video is called “Predatory Activity of the Fungus Pleurotus eryngii on Ancylostoma caninum Infective Larvae” and was conducted in South America. The test results were the first to show P. eryngi, the king trumpet mushroom, to have predatory activity towards the nematode.
This test, and ones like it, have been conducted to determine more ways of safeguarding against harmful parasites. As the study states, “Biological control using nematophagous fungi has the potential to become an important strategy to control gastrointestinal helminths in domestic animals.”
Here’s an excerpt from this study’s analysis, which discusses the reduction in hookworm by nearly 50% due to the predatory behavior of the king trumpet mushroom:
“Here, the predatory activity of the fungus P. eryngii on A. caninum larvae was demonstrated, verifying that the fungal isolate was able to interact and prey on the larvae during the experiment. The average number of L3 recovered from the control group was significantly higher than the average from the treated group. The P. eryngii fungal isolate reduced the average number of A. caninum L3 compared to control (p < 0.01) and presented a reduction percentage of 47.56%.”
According to the study, over one billion people worldwide are affected by intestinal parasites like the ones discussed in the report. Pets are also significantly impacted by these parasites, and many have considered the close ties between humans and pets and the passing of parasites between the two. New discoveries on ways to protect against and fight parasitic intruders is important to the overall state of public health. These types of research studies, like the one excerpted above, are necessary to the evolution of understanding associated with fungi.