Distinct patterns of yeast cell morphology and host responses induced by representative strains of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis (Pb18) and Paracoccidioides lutzii (Pb01)

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Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is a systemic mycosis, widespread in Latin America. PCM is a granulomatous disease characterized by a polymorphism of lesions depending on the pathogen's virulence, the immune status of the host and its genetic susceptibility. The thermodimorphic fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis was considered the only etiologic agent of PCM, yet recent works have shown significant genetic diversity among different strains of P. brasiliensis. Therefore, it has been proposed for a new species within the Paracoccidioides genus, named Paracoccidioides lutzii. To better understand the fungus-host interactions elicited by strains Pb01 and Pb18 as key representatives of P. lutzii and P. brasiliensis, respectively, we carried out studies to investigate differences in morphology, induced immune response, virulence and pathology between these two Paracoccidioides species. Our results demonstrate distinct patterns of host-parasite interaction and pathology caused by Pb18 and Pb01. These results open up new fronts for new clinical studies, which may result in significant consequences for the diagnosis and treatment of PCM. Considering that our results cannot be extended to all strains of both species, more studies about the virulence among Paracoccioides must be explored in the future.

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