What Is Killer Plant Fungus? Should You Worry? Know All About Rare Fungal Disease
Researchers said that while this was a rare case, recurrent exposure to the decaying material may be the cause of this infection.
In the past decade, the world has seen many unprecedented health crises be it the Ebola virus of Covid-19 pandemic. There has been a mutation in the structure of seasonal viruses leading to a health crisis. Be it H3N2 influenza, Monkeypox, or the Marburg virus, the world witnessed it all. Now a report has claimed that a killer Plant Fungus infected a Kolkata man, making it the world's first case. The man was diagnosed with a fungal disease that generally infects plants. The man was a plant mycologist and researchers used his case to establish that diseases which only affect plants can infect humans as well.
What is Plant Fungus and Symptoms in Humans?
According to NDTV, the case study was published in the journal Medical Mycology Case Reports. The symptoms included a hoarse voice, cough, fatigue, anorexia and difficulties swallowing. The researchers are Dr. Soma Dutta and Dr. Ujjwayini Ray of the Apollo Multispecialty Hospitals, Kolkata. They said that the plant fungus is known as Chondrostereum purpureum and it causes silver leaf disease in plants. They claimed that conventional techniques failed to identify the fungus in humans. They said that the fungal infection was evident from macroscopic and microscopic morphology.
How the doctors cured the patient?
According to sciencedirect.com website that shared the research report, "Hosts with compromised immune system are most vulnerable to fungal infection but healthy and immunecompetent individuals are also frequently reported to have fungal infections. In this situation the infections may be associated with exposure to a large inoculum."
A CT scan of the patient's neck revealed that the right paratracheal abscess existed. The doctors detected a neck abscess in the patient and surgically drained it. Following this, the patient received a course of antifungal medication and was declared fit after two years of regular follow-ups.
Should you worry?
Researchers said that while this was a rare case, recurrent exposure to the decaying material may be the cause of this infection. Since the patient was a plant mycologist, he may be working closely with infected plants. "This fungal infection was evident from macroscopic and microscopic morphology but the nature of the infection, the potentiality to disseminate etc. could not be ascertained. Even when the sequencing report identified it as a plant fungus a few weeks later but still literature search failed to reveal any reports of such infection in human subjects," said the report. Thus, there is no need to worry for human beings.