Mushroom hunter infected by killer plant fungus in world-first

An unlucky “mushroom hunter” from eastern India has become the first person known to be infected with a fungal disease that normally affects plants.

Chondrostereum purpureum is a fungus which causes the progressive and oft-fatal disease “silver leaf”, which affects the leaves and wood of certain trees including those of apples, apricots, cherries and plums — as well as hawthorns, roses and poplars.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society, the fungus infects the plants through wounds, causing a silvering of the leaves followed by death of the branch.

The human patient, meanwhile, experienced enduring influenza-like symptoms and was found to have developed an abscess in the lymph nodes to the right of his windpipe.

The full findings of the study were published in the journal Medical Mycology Case Reports.

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