Animals have parasites and diseases, so do plants, there are even bacteria that cann dissolve oil spills or plastic or what have you - why couldn't there be a disease living off magic - a magic item could be infected, losing power and speading the plague to other equipment it contacts, while a magic user would slowly lose his powers and contaminate all he works with or casts a spell at...
Actually a real-world fungus, just heard about it. A fungus that tastes well and all, no ill effects. UNLESS you consume some beverage, even 3 (three) days after eating it. Then you become really sick, pains, vomiting, all the fancy stuff. Was really used to cure alcoholism. May be a joke or to make sure the heroes spend their time focused on the mission.