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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2004 Oct 1;239(1):187-93.

Blastomyces dermatitidis produces melanin in vitro and during infection.

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Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


Melanin is made by several important pathogenic fungi and is implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of mycoses. This study investigates whether the thermally dimorphic fungal pathogen Blastomyces dermatitidis produces melanin. Using techniques developed to study melanization in other fungi, we demonstrate that B. dermatitidis conidia and yeast produce melanin in vitro and that yeast cells synthesize melanin or melanin-like pigment in vivo. Melanization reduced susceptibility to amphotericin B, but not to itraconazole or voriconazole. Since melanin is an important virulence factor in other pathogenic fungi, this pigment may affect the pathogenesis of blastomycosis.

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