Background: Fogo selvagem (FS) is an autoimmune disease that is endemic in certain regions of Brazil and appears to be precipitated by an environmental factor. Objective: Our purpose was to confirm the occurrence and prevalence of FS in a population of Xavante Indians living in an endemic region of central Brazil. Methods: Clinical, anthropologic, and immunologic studies were carried out in patients and in normal inhabitants of the Pimentel Barbosa Indian Reservation, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Results: FS was identified and confirmed in 10 patients from a patient pool of 295 with various skin diseases. The Xavante settlement has a total population of 746. Anti-desmoglein 1 autoantibodies were detected in all patients with FS and were absent from more than 300 serum samples collected from randomly selected unaffected persons. Conclusion: FS is strongly linked to outdoor activities and is largely restricted to immunogenetically predisposed persons. FS appears to have been endemic in certain regions of South America for several centuries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas