Kolkata man is the world’s first human to be infected by ‘plant fungus’
A 61-year-old man in Kolkata, a city in India, is the world’s first human to be infected by a fungal infection caused by plants, according to a report published by the Medical Mycology Case.
The man visited the Consultant Apollo Multispeciality Hospital in Kolkata seeking treatment. He complained of cough, hoarseness of voice, fatigue, difficulty in eating food, sore throat and anorexia. Subsequently, the doctor conducted some tests to find out about the situation.
The man, a plant mycologist, had no history of any chronic disease. Reportedly, the man had been working with decaying material and various plant fungi for his research.
Doctors conducted an X-ray test but it was normal. Later on, the doctors conducted a staining technique to find out the cause of his illness. Kolkata doctors found traces of a type of fungus called ‘Violet fungus’. His CT scan report revealed a paratracheal abscess in his neck.
According to the Medical Mycology Case, the doctors sent a sample for testing to the “WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference & Research on Fungi of Medical Importance” to know about the disease. Subsequently, the Kolkata man was diagnosed with Chondrostereum purpureum, which is also known as “violet fungus.”
According to Indian Express, Dr Shuchin Bajaj, Founder and Director of Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, reportedly said, “The fungus can enter the body through cuts, abrasions or inhalation of spores.”
Medical Mycology Case said in a journal, “This case highlights the potential of environmental plant fungi to cause disease in humans.” The report noted that the man was given antifungal treatment.
Researchers noted that the disease can be cured by antifungal treatment, which can either be administered orally or topically. Researchers concluded that it was the first case of plant-to-human fungal infection.
Dr Bajaj said that the man successfully recovered after two years of follow-up.