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Kolkata Man Infected By Killer Plant Fungus In World's First Case

3 Apr 2023 • The first person to be diagnosed with a fungal disease that typically affects plants is a plant mycologist in Kolkata. The patient had spent a considerable amount of time working with decaying material, mushrooms, and various plant fungi. The doctors who are following this case study wrote in a report that was published in the journal Medical Mycology Case Report.

How did the infection from Chondrostereum Purpureum, a deadly plant fungus, present?

  • The patient sought treatment with complaints of a hoarse voice, cough, fatigue, anorexia and difficulties swallowing for three months.
  • He had no history of diabetes, HIV infection, renal disease, any chronic disease, immunosuppressive drug intake, or trauma.
  • Initially, doctors at Apollo Multispecialty Hospitals, Kolkata, failed to diagnose the cause of his medical condition, but CT scans revealed the man had a paratracheal abscess on his neck.
  • Later when pus samples were sent for testing, it emerged that he had been infected with Chondrostereum purpureum.

"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."

"Only through sequencing could the identity of this unusual pathogen be revealed. This case highlights the potential of environmental plant fungi to cause disease in humans and stresses the importance of molecular techniques to identify the causative fungal species," the study said.

"After two years of follow-up, the patient was absolutely fine, and there is no evidence of recurrence," the researchers said. They have cautioned that the case in Kolkata showed that such fungi might potentially infect healthy and immunocompromised individuals.

Source: IndiaTimes | Read full story

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