The first human case of infection with Chondrostereum purpureum, a tree-killing fungus, has been recorded in India.
Silvering of fruit trees is the common name for the fungus Chondrostereum purpureum which kills trees. This is a concern for botanists, as any plant affected by it is at serious risk of dying and infecting other specimens nearby.
It has been a concern of the botanical community for centuries, but an unexpected twist has just occurred, with the recording of the first documented case of a human being with the fungus.
Is the problem really alarming? Many are taking a close look at what we saw a few days ago with the premiere of the post-apocalyptic series The Last of Us.
The plot of this production, based on the original PlayStation video game, heralds the end of modern civilization after a global epidemic in which the Cordyceps fungus begins to infect humans, virtually turning them into zombies.
The series, which is a work of fiction, plays with the near-impossible idea that a fungus from the insect kingdom could make the leap and start infecting humans. But sometimes reality catches up with fiction.
The first man infected by a tree-killing fungus
A recent scientific investigation published in the latest issue of Medical Mycology Case Reports reports the full details of a clinical case of a 61 year old man who visited an outpatient clinic in India.
The subject presented with symptoms of cough, fatigue, sore throat, and difficulty swallowing that had been ongoing for three months. He was examined and doctors discovered a pus-filled abscess on the right side of his trachea.
Samples were taken for the apparent presence of some kind of fungus. After clinical tests and cultures in a petri dish were performed, the samples were sent to another laboratory affiliated with the World Health Organization.
There they discovered that the man had been infected with the fungus Chondrostereum purpureum, recording the first known case.
The man had a healthy immune system at the time of infection, but he was working as a plant mycologist, a scientist specializing in fungi, which would explain how he was exposed.
Eventually the pus was drained and he was given antifungal treatment for two months. His symptoms disappeared and two years later he showed no signs of recurrent infection.
So it didn't happen and it was just a disturbing anecdote.
I am a student and I am part of the editorial staff of thesilverink.com. I have the chance to enjoy writing, however, I also like to discuss all subjects and especially anything related to Science.