Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The present study reproduced the experimental model of ocular paracoccidioidomycosis in guinea pigs, by the intracardiac inoculation of yeast-forms of P. brasiliensis. Ocular involvement was observed in 80% of the infected animals. The uvea, ciliary body, choroid, iris, lids and the conjunctiva were the structures most commonly affected. To protect the animals against the infection, an immunization protocol was standardized utilizing a P. brasiliensis soluble antigen in Freund's complete adjuvant, administered weekly, during 3 weeks, by the subcutaneous route. Two weeks later, previously immunized guinea pigs were challenged by the intracardiac route with yeast-forms of P. brasiliensis (vaccinated group). When compared with a control group (infection in the absence of prior immunization), the vaccinated animals developed higher levels of anti-P. brasiliensis cellular and humoral immune response and a three times lower frequency of ocular involvement (85.7% vs 28.5%). In addition, the ocular lesions were significantly more localized and contained less fungal cells. The data demonstrated that the subcutaneous immunization was effective in decreasing the frequency and extent of ocular lesions, as well as in blocking fungal multiplication.
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