Paracoccidioides spp

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Paracoccidioides spp are a dimorphic species of yeast

In humans, Paracoccidioides causes a severe systemic mycosis, endemic in Latin America. A similar situation is perceived in these countries, where serological surveys have found more than 50% of urban dogs are seropositive to exposure to this yeast[1]. Co-infection of dogs by Leishmania brasiliensis is common and may amplify this serological picture[2]. Dogs susceptible to developing leishmaniasis could be also more susceptible to developing paracoccidioidomycosis[3].

The ecological niche or exact habitat of the fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis is not known, and few isolates have been obtained from the environment[4]. Infections in dogs are thought to be naturally acquired via inhalation.

Species which are pathogenic in dogs include:

  • Paracoccidioides brasiliensis

Clinical signs are usually non-specific, although weight loss, hepatomegaly and lymphadenopathy are consistent findings[5].

Diagnosis is based on clinical findings, culturing, Western blot[6], immunohistochemistry, and histopathology of popliteal lymph nodes.

Itraconazole is the drug of choice, with extended treatments for up to 2 years.


  1. Fontana FF et al (2010) Seroepidemiological survey of paracoccidioidomycosis infection among urban and rural dogs from Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Mycopathologia 169(3):159-165
  2. Silveira LH et al (2006) Serological detection of antibodies against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis in dogs with leishmaniasis. Mycopathologia 162(5):325-329
  3. Lemesre JL et al (2005) Protection against experimental visceral leishmaniasis infection in dogs immunized with purified excreted secreted antigens of Leishmania infantum promastigotes. Vaccine 23:2825–2840
  4. Costa PF et al (2010) Characteristics of environmental Paracoccidioides brasiliensis isolates. Mycopathologia 169(1):37-46
  5. de Farias MR et al (2011) Paracoccidioidomycosis in a dog: case report of generalized lymphadenomegaly. Mycopathologia 172(2):147-152
  6. Canteros CE et al (2010) Endemic fungal pathogens in a rural setting of Argentina: seroepidemiological study in dogs. Rev Iberoam Micol 27(1):14-19