The oral route in the pathogenesis of paracoccidioidomycosis: An experimental study in BALB/c mice infected with P. brasiliensis Conidia

Research paper by J. Camilo Roldán, Angela Ma. Tabares, Beatriz L. Gómez, Beatriz E. Aristizábal, Ana María Cock, Angela Restrepo

Indexed on: 01 Aug '01Published on: 01 Aug '01Published in: Mycopathologia


Due to the high frequency of oral mucosal lesions observed in paracoccidioidomycosis patients, it was advocated that the infection was acquired by the traumatic implantation of the etiologic agent Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. Although at present this theory is considered invalid, it has not yet been excluded in experimental studies. In order to determine if intra-oral inoculation could explain the pathogenesis of paracoccidioidomycosis, 64 BALB/c mice were inoculated intra-orally with 850.000 viable P. brasiliensis conidia into the mandibular body. Animals were sacrificed at various time intervals up to 20 weeks and cultures were made from gingiva, lungs, spleen, and liver. Additionally, histopathological studies of the mandibular body were also performed. P. brasiliensis was isolated from all gingival tissues during the interval 24–72 h, indicating that the infection was active. During the 5–10 week period, the infection appeared to have been controlled at the inoculation site as cultures showed a significant reduction in colony forming units (CFU); however, at the 15–20 week period such control was lost and the fungus was recovered once more. Dissemination to other body sites was rare; thus, the lungs were involved in just one animal (2%), the liver in two (3%) and the spleen in seven (11%).The infection became established as proven by positive organ cultures, but the dissemination pattern did not correspond to the one observed in humans. Based on these findings, the intra-oral traumatic route does not appear to mimic the natural history of paracoccidioidomycosis.