Endemic pemphigus foliaceus (Fogo selvagem): II. Current and historic epidemiologic studies

Luis A. Diaz, Sebastiao A.P. Sampaio, Evandro A. Rivitti, Ciro R. Martins, Paulo R. Cunha, Clovis Lombardi, Fernando A. Almeida, Raymundo Martins Castro, Mario L. Macca, Carlos Lavrado, Gunther H. Filho, Paulo Borges, Aicar Chaul, Lorivaldo Minelli, Julio C. Empinotti, Horacio Friedman, Iphis Campbell, Ramzy S. Labib, Grant J. Anhalt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


This paper details current and historic epidemiologic features of Fogo Selvagem (Endemic pemphigus foliaceus) in Brazil. The following features are described. a) The disease occurs in endemic fashion in regions of Brazil within the states of Goias, Mato Grosso do Sul, Parana, Sao Paulo, and Minas Gerais. It appears that the disease is spreading toward the northwest and west, involving the states of Mato Grosso, Para, Maranhao, Rondonia, Acre, and Amazonas. b) People at risk are young peasants or children of either sex or any race exposed to the local ecology in rural areas of endemic states. Although the disease has been described in urban centers, these occurrences are rare. c) Fogo Selvagem commonly appears in wild areas being colonized and disappears as these areas become urbanized. d) The majority of patients live in close proximity to rivers and within the 10-15 Km flying range of mosquitos or black flies (such as Simulium). It is hypothesized that a black fly, Simulium pruinosum may be the vector that precipitates the disease. f) There is a significant number of Fogo Selvagem in family units where multiple, genetically related individuals are affected. g) Finally, autoantibodies against lupus-associated antigens are not present in the sera of patients with Fogo Selvagem. Clinical examination of the skin, and serologic screening for pemphigus autoantibodies are specific parameters that can be used in the search for the etiologic agents that lead to autoimmune disease of the skin. To identify and prove an etiologic agent for this well-characterized autoimmune disease would be of tremendous importance to the understanding of autoimmune skin diseases, and potentially other organ-specific autoimmune disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-12
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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