Indexed on: 18 Jan '14Published on: 18 Jan '14Published in: Mycopathologia
Paracoccidioidomycosis, caused by the thermodimorphic fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, is a human systemic mycosis prevalent in Latin America. Paracoccidioidomycosis affects mainly male rural workers, causing granulomatous lesions in several organs such as the lungs, liver and spleen. The participation of other animal species in the fungus epidemiology is not well understood. The objective of this study was to evaluate the infection of free-range domestic pigs by P. brasiliensis. Serum samples from 106 pigs were analyzed by ELISA and the immunodiffusion test, using P. brasiliensis gp43 and exoantigen as antigens, respectively. The overall positivity to gp43 in ELISA was 37.7 %, although no reactivity was observed in the immunodiffusion test and nor was P. brasiliensis detected in tissue samples (spleen, lung, liver and lymph nodes) from slaughtered animals submitted to culture, histopathological examination and PCR analysis. Five pigs seronegative to gp43 were exposed to natural infection by P. brasiliensis, and all animals seroconverted 3 months after exposure. The results suggest that free-range pigs are frequently infected with P. brasiliensis but are resistant to disease development. This is the first report of paracoccidioidomycosis in pigs.