Isolation of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis from armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) in an area where the fungus was recently isolated from soil
Silva-Vergara, M. L.
Camargo, Zoilo Pires de [UNIFESP]
Chadu, J. B.
Is part ofMedical Mycology
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Natural infection of armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) with Paracoccidioides brasiliensis in Northern Brazil was reported in 1986, raising great interest in the understanding of the role of this mammal in the epidemiological cycle of the fungus. Recently, P. brasiliensis was isolated from the soil of Ibia, State of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil. Armadillos captured in this area were evaluated for the presence of P. brasiliensis in the viscera and infection was detected in 4/16 animals (25%). Fungal yeast phase cells were observed in three of the four infected armadillos by direct microscopic examination and by the indirect immunofluorescence test carried out on homogenized tissues. P. brasiliensis was isolated from three armadillos whose homogenized viscera had been injected into Swiss mice. the new strains (Ibia-T1, Ibia-T2 and Ibia-T3) were identified as P, brasiliensis on the basis of macro- and micromorphology, thermodimorphism, production and serologic activity of exoantigens, and by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-detection of the gp43 gene. the lethality and lesions caused to the mice from which the strains were recovered confirmed the virulence of the isolates. We conclude that P. brasiliensis infects armadillos in locations with different geoclimatic characteristics and vegetation cover. the direct observation of yeast cells in tissues and the multiple visceral involvement, including the lungs, suggests the occurrence of paracoccidioidomycosis disease in these mammals and supports their role as wild hosts in the epidemiological cycle of the fungus.
CitationMedical Mycology. Oxford: B I O S Scientific Publishers Ltd, v. 38, n. 3, p. 193-199, 2000.
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