Melanin as a virulence factor in pathogenic fungi

Mycoses. 1990 May;33(5):215-24. doi: 10.1111/myc.1990.33.5.215.


The pigment melanin is found universally in nature and is attributed to a variety of functions. In some fungi it is thought to play a decisive role in the determination of virulence. This review examines the experimental evidence which has led to an understanding of the mechanisms by which melanin functions in pathogenic fungi, particularly in plant pathogens, in Cryptococcus neoformans and Wangiella dermatitidis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / pathogenicity
  • Exophiala / pathogenicity
  • Fungi / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Melanins / biosynthesis
  • Melanins / physiology*
  • Virulence


  • Melanins