Research Group on Paracoccidioidomycosis of Botucatu Medical School

Rinaldo Poncio Mendes, Full Professor, Botucatu Medical School (FMB), São Paulo State University (UNESP), Botucatu, SP, Brazil.

The first study on paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) performed in Botucatu, São Paulo state, Brazil, was the evaluation of an infection using skin test with the Fava Neto’s polysaccharide-rich Paracoccidioides brasiliensis antigen carried out by Carandina and Magaldi, in 19741, in rural workers from an experimental farm specialized in coffee plantation. Later on, several researches were carried out in an experimental model using Syrian hamsters, coordinated by Prof. Mario Rubens Guimarães Montenegro, Head Professor of the Department of Pathology, focusing on the host-parasite relationship, specifically the immune response and the granuloma formation. Professors from the Department of Pathology and from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology participated in these studies. Several publications and theses resulted from these investigations, improving the knowledge about immunopathology of PCM.

Then, Dr. Domingos Alves Meira, Head of the Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (IPD) discipline, suggested the inclusion of the discipline of Dermatology and the IPD discipline to the ongoing studies, creating the Research Group on Paracoccidioidomycosis (RGP). In a meeting I participated, still very young, Dr. Montenegro suggested Prof. Marcello Fabiano de Franco as coordinator of the Group, which was accepted by the participants. Thus, the first meeting of the RGP was carried out on April 17th, 1980, in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, when the activities of the Group, the developing studies and the main objectives were discussed and the preliminary results of a study on amyloidosis in PCM were presented. The RGP was constituted several years before similar groups had been organized, including in developed countries. This Group progressed quickly, incorporated other researchers and interacted with several other centers of study in Brazil and other countries.

Image: Prof. Rinaldo P. Mendes.

Figure 1. Lungs in paracoccidioidomycosis: interstitial lesions – bilateral, symmetrical, parahilar.

The activities of the RGP brought several lessons, such as the fundamental importance of the multidisciplinary group in the education of every one of its participants, updating the new languages of the biological knowledge (immunology, molecular biology, immunogenetics, and proteomics, among others); the integration of specialists from different fields, aiming only the development of the studies; the decision and organization of the II International Meeting on Paracoccidioidomycosis, which contributed for its consolidation and continuity for decades. Last, but not the least, the RGP had a significant participation in the publication of the book Paracoccidioidomycosis2, in addition to 86 master dissertations/doctoral thesis and 271 published articles – identified based on the curriculum lattes of seven members of the Group on October 31st, 2019 with correction for authorship.

The progress of the RGP and the maturity of its participants led to an increased interaction with areas of higher affinity and, finally, to the identification of four areas – ecology, clinical manifestations, immunology and pathology. When Prof. Marcello Franco moved to Escola Paulista de Medicina of Unifesp, we lost the aggregating researcher leader of the Group. Nowadays, although there are no more multidisciplinary meetings, the collaborative studies continue to be performed because of the proposed projects.

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  1. CARANDINA, L. and MAGALDI, C. Inquérito sobre blastomicose sul americana pela intradermo reação em uma comunidade rural do municípo de Botucatu. Revista de Saúde Pública [online]. 1974, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 171-179 [viewed 8 June 2022]. Available from:
  2. FRANCO, M., et al (ed). Paracoccidioidomycosis. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 1994.


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MENDES, R.P. Research Group on Paracoccidioidomycosis of Botucatu Medical School [online]. SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases, 2022 [viewed ]. Available from:


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