A 61-year-old man from Kolkata has become the world’s first man to get infected with a deadly plant fungus. The unnamed man is a plant mycologist, who had been working with decaying material, mushrooms and various plant fungi for a long time.
According to a report by the Hindustan Times, the man did not have any history of renal disease, chronic disease, diabetes, or HIV. Doctors in the journal Medical Mycology Case Reports have stated that the man had been working with decaying material for a long time as a part of his research activities.
In the X-ray and CT scans conducted by the doctors, a paratracheal abscess has been found in his neck. This condition can block airways and cause deadly infections, if not treated quickly.
Chondrostereum purpureum is a plant fungus that causes silver leaf disease in plants, particularly those in the rose family. This is the first instance of a plant fungus causing disease in a human. Conventional techniques (microscopy and culture) failed to identify the fungus,” the report stated.
On a positive note, after receiving a course of antifungal medication, and a couple of follow-ups with health professionals, the patient has recovered completely.
A 61-year-old plant mycologist from Kolkata developed a potentially deadly fungal infection caused by Chondrostereum purpureum, a plant fungus that causes silver leaf disease in plants. This is the first known instance of a plant fungus causing disease in a human. pic.twitter.com/UXChplHVe0
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“Only through sequencing could the identity of this unusual pathogen be revealed. Thi case highlights the potential of environmental plant fungi to cause disease in humans and stresses the importance of molecular techniques to identify and causative fungal species,” continued the report.