The plating efficiency of standard mycological media such as brain heart infusion (BHI) agar is poor for Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. We prepared a water-extract of yeast phase cells of P. brasiliensis and examined it for growth-enhancing activity for the fungus. The water-extract, when added to BHI agar to a concentration of 5%, improved the plating efficiency of the medium for the fungus to some extent, but the degree of improvement was considerably varied among P. brasiliensis isolates. By contrast, when the water-extract was added in combination with horse serum (4%), the plating efficiency was highly improved (to 94-99%) for all the P. brasiliensis isolates employed. The growth-enhancing factor(s) in the water-extract was heat-stable and heating at 120 degrees C for 15 min had little, if any, effect on growth-enhancing activity.