Which of the following diseases is caused by consumption of a wheat bread contaminated with a fungus called Claviceps purpurea?

Answer: [B] Ergotism

Cleviceps purpurea is an important ascomycete that grows on the grains of rye grass cereals. It produces the drug ergot, which is both a severe poison and a useful medicinal drug. It affects the central nervous system as well as causes the contraction of  involuntary muscle. Ergotism, caused by eating infected rye bread, was common in the Middle Ages, when it was known as “St. Anthony’s Fire.

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