plant fungus Chondrostereum purpureum

A Plant Fungus Learns To Infect Human

A fungus that normally attacks plants has attacked a human host, inserting root-like filaments into his body, in what appears to be the first documented instance of its kind.

In India, a 61-year-old mycologist developed a serious case of silver leaf disease — a fungus that can be deadly to a wide range of plants — in his throat. This is the first reported case of the human infection of the plant fungus Chondrostereum purpureum.

There are only a few fungi capable of infecting people, such as ringworm or athlete’s foot, but experts have long cautioned that this image could soon change due to fungi’s ability to develop quickly. Fungal pathogens can rapidly develop resistance to antifungals or even cause the immune system to turn against itself, indicating that the danger is serious.

An examination of samples obtained from the Indian man’s throat showed lengthy, root-like filaments known as hyphae. After traditional methods such as microscopy or lab growth “failed to identify the fungus,” scientists used special molecular sequencing to identify “this unusual pathogen.”

The worsening of global warming and other civilization activities opens Pandora’s Box for newer fungal diseases, thanks to an increasing number of fungal pathogens acquiring “the ability to survive at body temperatures.”

Fortunately, the human body has a plethora of natural defence mechanisms to combat invasive fungal pathogens, but not everyone is operating on the same pitch. Infection dangers are significantly greater, especially for the immunocompromised.

To summarize, it will almost certainly take an especially nasty fungus to breach the human body’s defensive boundaries and leap from human to human. Meanwhile, we have a wide range of antifungals available to assist. The Indian patient was given “surgical drainage of the abscess and long-term oral antifungal therapy.”

Reference- Journal Medical Mycology Case Reports, ScienceAlert reports, Futurism