Melanin as a virulence factor in different species of genus paracoccidioides

Elúzia C.P. Emidio, Martha E. Urán J., Leandro B.R. Silva, Lucas S. Dias, Mariana Doprado, Joshua D. Nosanchuk, Carlos Pelleschi Taborda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is a granulomatous systemic mycosis caused by the thermo-dimorphic fungi of the genus Paracoccidioides. Melanin production by fungi can affect their pathogenesis and virulence. This study evaluates the production of melanin by different isolates of genus Paracoccidioides and examines how the presence of this polymer affects yeast cell phagocytosis, as well as laccase enzyme production. The results obtained showed that the isolates of genus Paracoccidioides: P. lutzii (Pb01, Pb66, ED01, Pb1578, and Pb8334), P. restrepiensis (PS3-Pb60855), P. brasiliensis (S1-Pb18), and P. americana (PS2-Pbcão) produce melanin in the presence of L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA). Phagocytosis assays were carried out with peritoneal macrophages from C57Bl/6 mice that were challenged with Pb18, Pb60855, and Pb01. We observed that melanin interferes with phagocytosis in the presence or absence of complement or heat-inactivated serum. This article confirms that different species of the genus Paracoccidioides produce melanin in different magnitudes and that the polymer functions as a virulence factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number291
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Fungi
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Paracoccidioides
  • Paracoccidioides spp. melanin
  • Paracoccidioidomycosis
  • Virulence factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science
  • Microbiology (medical)


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