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Mycopathologia. 2008 Apr-May;165(4-5):183-95.

Paracoccidioides brasiliensis: chemical and molecular tools for research on cell walls, antifungals, diagnosis, taxonomy.

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  • 1Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC), Centro de Microbiología y Biología Celular, P.O. Box 20632, Caracas 1020A, Venezuela.


Paracoccidioides brasiliensis is a dimorphic fungus, a causative agent of paracoccidioidomycosis, one of the most frequent systemic mycoses that affect the rural population in Latin America, only geographical region in which this fungus is to be found. In this work, we discuss matters related to (a) cell wall studies based on the cloning and analysis of genes involved in the synthesis of cell wall components, and their possible roles in virulence and dimorphism in P. brasiliensis, (b) molecular taxonomy and the molecular classification of P. brasiliensis as an Ascomycete belonging in the Order Onygenales, (c) phylogeny of P. brasiliensis and the possible existence of cryptic species within the genus Paracoccidioides, and (d) new experimental antifungal drugs such as azasterols or sterol hydrazones, compounds that affect the activity of delta 24(28) sterol methyl reductase (SMR) and/or delta (24)-sterol methyl transferase (SMT), and (e) specific primers for the molecular detection of P. brasiliensis in vitro and in clinical samples.

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