Greener Journal of Epidemiology and Public Health, Vol. 6 (1), pp. 001-019, January 2018.
ISSN: 2354-2381 © 2018 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 072817097
Plant Pathogenic Fungi ─ Novel Agents of Human Diseases: Implications for public Health
Enyiukwu DN*1 Ononuju CC1 and Maranzu JO2
1Department of Plant Health Management, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike PMB 7267 Umuahia, Abia State.
2National Environmental Standards Regulation and Enforcement Agency (NESREA) Owerri Imo State, Nigeria.
Fungi (mycota) are cosmopolitan and ubiquitous decomposers of organic materials in nature and many species in the kingdom are capable of causing devastating plant diseases. In recent times, several plant pathogenic fungi have been reported pathogenic to humans; and infections induced by these organisms can occur in both relatively healthy individuals as well as in those with serious underlying medical conditions or undergoing some forms of chemotherapy. Infections in the latter group are in most cases life-threatening and fatal with low survival rates. Thus stirring up public health concerns and posing serious health challenges. These fungal pathogens are recalcitrant and variable in their sensitivity to known antifungal agents such as azoles and amphotericin B, warranting the need to search and explore alternative sources of potential antifungal compounds. In plant pathology, higher plants have been recognized as vast sources of antimycotic agents which are being extensively exploited for the control of attacks of phyto-pathogenic fungi of agricultural crops in both field and storage. Herein, plant attacking mycoflora capable of causing human mycoses were reviewed; and considering their variability in sensitivity to known antifungal drugs; we discussed the importance and need to characterize extracts of higher plants used in controlling phytonotic mycobiota in agriculture as possible sources of novel user-friendly antifungal compounds that can be used to supplement or complement existing medical antimycotics to maintain human health and wellbeing.
Key Words: Phytonoses, Mycoses, Aspergilloses, Plant pathogenic fungi, Public health, Novel drugs
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