Indian Man Is World’s First Human To Be Infected With Deadly Plant Fungus

Doctors in the journal Medical Mycology Case Reports said that an Indian man is the world’s first human to be infected with the deadly plant fungus Chondrostereum purpureum.

A man in Kolkata caught a disease caused by a plant fungus, in what doctors believe is the first case of human infection by the microorganism. The doctors said this demonstrates the crossover of plant pathogen into humans when working in close contact with plant fungi.

A 61-year-old man visited the outpatient department of Consultant Apollo Multispeciality Hospitals in Kolkata with complaints of hoarseness of voice, cough, recurrent pharyngitis, fatigue, difficulty in swallowing and anorexia for three months, said doctors in the journal Medical Mycology Case Reports.

He had no history of diabetes, HIV infection, renal or any chronic disease, immunosuppressive drug intake, or trauma. The patient, a plant mycologist by profession, was working with decaying material, mushrooms and various plant fungi for a long time as part of his research activities, doctors said.

While his chest X-ray showed a normal result, a CT scan of his neck showed the presence of a right paratracheal abscess.

Doctors drained out the pus and sent the pus sample for further tests. After multiple tests, the sample was sent to the “WHO collaborating Centre for Reference & Research on Fungi of Medical importance” where it identified as Chondrostereum purpureum.

Scientists said that the DNA, known as extrachromosomal DNA or ecDNA and nicknamed ‘Bond villain’, could transform cancer treatment.

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