Pathogenicity and virulence of wild-type and melanin-deficient Wangiella dermatitidis

J Med Vet Mycol. 1987 Apr;25(2):97-106. doi: 10.1080/02681218780000141.


Wild-type, dematiaceous Wangiella dermatitidis (DMD 368) and melanin-deficient mutant (Mel 3) strains derived therefrom were compared for pathogenic and virulent effects in Swiss albino mice following intravenous infection. Parameters examined were mouse survival and central nervous system signs of infection, time-course cultures of fungus from brains, lungs, livers, spleens and kidneys, and histopathology of brains. Over a range of concentrations, DMD 368 produced 100% mortality while one Mel 3 strain, DMD 369, produced no mortality by 21 days after inoculation. However, in chronic infections with DMD 369, mice developed ataxia and torticollis. These signs of disease were indistinguishable from those produced by low concentrations of DMD 368. The brain was the most severely affected organ where both DMD 368 and 369 grew exponentially. Histological responses to the two strains appeared to be indistinguishable. However, the mutant appeared not to form the invasive hyphal forms of growth associated with the acute, fatal infections caused by the wild type. Thus, although the absence of melanin was associated with decreased mortality in mice, the chronic neurological signs of mouse phaeohyphomycosis appeared to be unrelated to melanin.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / microbiology
  • Exophiala / genetics
  • Exophiala / pathogenicity*
  • Male
  • Melanins / genetics
  • Melanins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mitosporic Fungi / pathogenicity*
  • Mutation
  • Mycoses / microbiology*
  • Mycoses / mortality
  • Virulence


  • Melanins