World’s deadliest mushroom | Daily News

World’s deadliest mushroom

Amanita phalloides, known commonly as the death cap mushroom, causes life-threatening hepatorenal dysfunction when ingested. Considered the most poisonous mushroom in the world, A phalloides contains amatoxins, a group of bicyclic octapeptides that are responsible for 90 percent of global mushroom-related fatalities. One cap of A phalloides is sufficient to cause death in an adult.

The death cap was first introduced to British Columbia on the roots of imported European trees and has since spread to North American oak trees.

Death caps are now found increasingly in urban settings. In 2017 the Canadian Forest Service and Oak Bay parks department reported that death caps in the Victoria area sprouted earlier and in greater numbers than in previous years.

The spread of this invasive species has led to cases of morbidity and mortality from ingestion of the mushroom and an ongoing risk of misidentification.

Health care providers need to be aware of this risk, as prompt recognition and appropriate management are critical for positive patient outcomes.

BCMJ


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