Trichophytonspecies ofArthroderma benhamiae– a new infectious agent in dermatology

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Abstract

In Germany, infections due to the zoophilic dermatophyte Trichophyton (T.) species of Arthroderma benhamiae are being more frequently diagnosed. The source of infection of this emerging pathogen overlaps with that of the zoophilic species T. interdigitale. The most common source are guinea pigs. T. species of Arthroderma benhamiae causes inflammatory dermatophytosis in children and adolescents. In addition to tinea capitis, it may cause both tinea corporis, tinea manus and frequently tinea faciei. In Germany, T. species of Arthroderma benhamiae is a frequent zoophilic dermatophyte, which in regions is probably more frequent than Microsporum canis. The mycological identification of the isolates with their yellow stained colonies is based on their macroscopic and microscopic features. However, some exhibit colony features consistent with those of T. interdigitale. These strains only can be identified unambiguously by means of molecular techniques. Using detection methods such as PCR-ELISA or real-time PCR, the dermatophyte can be identified directly from clinical material. Sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) of the ribosomal DNA has been approved as culture confirmation test for T. species of Arthroderma benhamiae. In addition, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI TOF MS) is useful. Widespread dermatophytosis due to T. species of Arthroderma benhamiae, in particular of tinea capitis, requires oral antifungal agents. Terbinafine is most effective, alternatives are fluconazole and itraconazole.

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