GRANULOMATOUS REACTION IN THE HAMSTER-CHEEK POUCH INDUCED BY KILLED PARACOCCIDIOIDES-BRASILIENSIS
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We have studied the role of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis viability in the morphology of paracoccidioidomycotic granulomas in the hamster cheek pouch, an immunologically privileged site. Naive (N = 75) and previously sensitized (N = 50) two-month old male hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) were inoculated into the pouch with 5 x 10(5) live or heat- or formalin-killed fungi. Previously sensitized animals presented a positive footpad test and immunodiffusion demonstrable antibodies (titer 1/32), at the time of sacrifice; naive animals were always negative for those immunological tests. The histological results showed that, like viable P. brasiliensis, killed fungi evoke typical epithelioid granulomas in 100% of animals, even in the absence of immunodiffusion or footpad test detectable immune response. The granulomas elicited by killed fungi were devoid of giant cells or a mononuclear cell halo, suggesting that live proliferating fungi or their products may be involved in these events.