Cathelicidin (LL-37) level in the scalp hair of patients with tinea capitis
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are considered an important first line of defense against pathogens. Cathelicidin LL-37 was upregulated in response to fungal infection. In this work we aimed to evaluate cathelicidin LL-37 in the hair of tinea capitis and compare it to normal controls. Hair samples were collected from 30 children and 30 controls aged from 2 to10 years old, and the level of cathelicidin LL-37 in the hair was detected by quantitative real-time PCR. The 30 patients were further subdivided into three subgroups according to their clinical type. Ten patients were scaly type, 10 patients were black dots type, and 10 patients were kerion type. Cathelicidin level in patients ranged from 6.0 to 17.5 with mean ± SD (11.3 ± 2.3) and in control ranged from 1.02 to 6.2, with mean ± SD (2.8 ± 1.5). There was a significant difference between the patients and controls regarding the cathelicidin level; P value was 0. The mean cathelicidin level was lowest in the kerion type10.73 ± 2.6 and highest in the black dot type 12.05 ± 2.76. However, there was no significant difference between the cathelicidin level of the different clinical types of tinea capitis; P value was 0.58. In conclusion, the level of cathelicidin LL-37 in hair specimens of human tinea capitis was significantly higher than controls.