Medicine (MD/DO)
Systemic & Cutaneous Mycoses

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Paracoccidiomycosis is a disease caused by Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, which is a dimorphic fungus found in the soil as a mold in low temperatures and a yeast at higher temperatures. This disease is commonly found in Brazil. It is often referred to as a South American blastomycosis, since it is found in Latin America and causes similar disease presentation. While it has many similarities to blastomycosis, the main difference is that this fungus has multiple buds, arranged in a ship's captain wheel formation, whereas blastomycosis is a single bud. This fungus measures 40-50um in diameter, which is about 3 times the size of blastomycosis. Its clinical presentation is often asymptomatic, but may develop into pneumonia with the potential to disseminate. Azole drugs are the typical treatment.

Paracoccidioidomycosis is a fungal infection caused by the fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. It is a systemic mycosis that appears as a polygemulating yeast with a pilot's wheel-like appearance in biopsies.

Latin America
Map of Latin America

This disease is referred to as the South American blastomycosis, due to its common presence in Latin America.

Common in Brazil
Brazilian flag

This disease is very commonly found in Brazil, and test takers should consider Paracoccidiomycosis in the differential of patients with lung infections who have recently traveled from Brazil.

Budding yeast with captain wheel formation
Captain Wheel

This fungus has multiple buds arranged in a formation that resembles a captain's wheel of a ship.

40-50 um
40-50 um ruler

This fungus measures 40-50 um in diameter, which is about 3 times the size of blastomycosis.


The infection can be asymptomatic, or may cause respiratory illness such as pneumonia. It has the ability to disseminate.


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