In vitroandex vivoinfection models help assess the molecular aspects of the interaction ofTrichophyton rubrumwith the host milieu

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Abstract

Dermatophytes are fungal pathogens that cause cutaneous infections such as onychomycosis and athlete's foot in both healthy and immunocompromised patients. Trichophyton rubrum is the most prevalent dermatophyte causing human nail and skin infections worldwide, and because of its anthropophilic nature, animal infection models are limited. The purpose of this work was to compare the expression profile of T. rubrum genes encoding putative virulence factors during growth in ex vivo and in vitro infection models. The efficiency of the ex vivo skin infection model was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), which showed that the conidia had produced hyphae that penetrated into the epidermis. Quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis showed that the expression of some genes is modulated in response to the infection model used, as compared to that observed in cells grown in glucose-containing media. We concluded that ex vivo infection models help assess the molecular aspects of the interaction of T. rubrum with the host milieu, and thus provide insights into the modulation of genes during infection.

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