London: British surgeons have carried out what they claim is the world's first lung transplant on a 20-year-old woman patient who was suffering from two fungal conditions, a media report said.

A team at the University Hospital of South Manchester has successfully carried out the transplant on Becky Jones who was suffering from multi-resistant Aspergillus, a common airborne fungus, and multiple fungal balls in her old lungs.

Lung transplant patients have never before been able to have the operation while suffering from either of these conditions. But, Jones is now able to breathe freely again, a news daily reported.

"Becky's transplant brings together a remarkable set of expertises; in fungal infection, molecular testing, advanced transplantation techniques and intensive care, all under one roof.

"With increasing antifungal resistance since 2004, she is a courageous torchbearer for others," Prof David Denning, the Director of the National Aspergillosis Centre, was quoted by the British newspaper as saying. Now out of intensive care following surgery, Jones said: "I can't, for the life of me, remember feeling so well.

The world is officially my oyster! Words simply cannot begin to describe the pure relief I feel."

She added: "The chains have been lifted; I can breathe! I can't for the life of me remember feeling so well! I now plan to travel and study fashion design at college."

Jones first developed aspergillosis because she has cystic fibrosis and became allergic to the Aspergillus. As she needed special drugs to improve her breathing, the fungus grew in her damaged airways to form large fungal balls, known as aspergillomas.

She was treated with an antifungal drug but the fungus developed resistance. She is now on preventative antifungal agents given by aerosol and intravenously, to minimise the risk of life-threatening invasive aspergillosis common after lung transplantation because of immune suppression to prevent rejection.

Agencies