In a rare case, a plant mycologist residing in Kolkata has been diagnosed with a fungal disease that typically affects plants.
This is the first case that has been reported of a person getting affected by it and as per researchers, this case is evidence of the possibility of plant infections spreading to human beings when in close contact with plant fungi.
The doctors who are catering to the case stated in a report that was published in the journal ‘Medical Mycology Case Reports’, that an infected person is a 61-year-old man who landed up in the hospital after suffering from hoarse voice, cough, fatigue, and difficulties in swallowing for three months.
"The patient was also facing difficulty swallowing and anorexia for the last three months," they explained.
"He had no history of diabetes, HIV infection, renal disease, any chronic disease, immunosuppressive drug intake, or trauma. The patient, a plant mycologist by profession, had been working with decaying material, mushrooms, and various plant fungi for a long time as part of his research activities," they added.
Dr Soma Dutta and Dr Ujjwayini Ray of the Consultant Apollo Multispecialty Hospitals, Kolkata, further said that the plant fungus, chondrostereum purpureum causes silver leaf disease in plants, particularly of the rose family.
''This is the first case reported of a plant fungus causing disease in humans. However, conventional techniques have failed to identify the fungus,'' the duo said.
As per them, the identification will only be possible through sequencing of the unusual pathogen.
The researcher also highlighted the potential of plant fungi to cause diseases in human beings and stressed the importance of developing molecular techniques to identify the causative fungal species.
Recurrent exposure to decaying materials can be the cause of the rare infection, said the researcher.
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