Submitted to: Revista Iberoamericana De Micologia
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: December 30, 2006
Publication Date: March 19, 2007
Citation: De Lucca II, A.J. 2007. Harmful fungi in both agriculture and medicine. Revista Iberoamericana De Micologia. 24:3-13.
Fungi are ubiquitous in nature and important for the decomposition of organic matter and the recycling of nutrients. Most are saprophytic and not pathogenic to plants, animals and humans. Some are pathogenic to plants, animals or humans. However, a relative few are pathogenic to both plants and humans under certain conditions. They may produce toxins affecting the health of animals and humans who ingest comtaminated food and feed. The fungal genera that are both phytopathogenic and cause human mycoses include Aspergillus, Fusarium and several genera such as Alternaria and Mucor comprising the "emerging pathogen" group which are an increasing problem in immunocompromised patients. Few antifungals are effective against these fungi and often prove unsafe at high dosages. There also exists the strong possibility that those currently used will become less useful due to developed resistance. Discovery of novel, safe and effective antifungals could prove efficacious in use preventing agricultural losses and human mycoses.