, 2008; Brasch, 2009). Comprehensive up-to-date review articles covering dermatophyte epidemiology and clinical importance as well as genetic approaches in taxonomy and diagnosis are already available (Binstock, 2007; Abdel-Rahman, 2008; Gräser et al., 2008; Kanbe, 2008; Seebacher
et al., 2008; Ameen, 2010). These topics will not be a part of the present overview. Nevertheless, some basic information on species diversity and medical impact will be provided in order to better convey the recent achievements in molecular genetic research in this fascinating group of microorganisms. Dermatophytoses belong to the most common infectious diseases in humans, affecting 10–20% of the population worldwide. These infections http://www.selleckchem.com/products/ABT-263.html Daporinad are usually not life threatening, but occur even in immunocompetent hosts, and in many cases, are long lasting, recurrent and difficult to cure (Borgers et al., 2005). Depending on their predominant natural reservoir, dermatophyte species are classified into three groups: anthropophilic, zoophilic and geophilic (Weitzman & Summerbell, 1995). The natural hosts of anthropophilic and zoophilic species are humans and animals, respectively, whereas geophilic dermatophytes are soil saprophytes. Symptoms of dermatophytosis can vary from chronic to highly inflammatory, depending on the causative agent and the body location affected. The given disease is
described with the word ‘tinea,’ followed by a term referring to the infected body site, for example tinea pedis (feet), tinea capitis (scalp or head), tinea corporis (body or trunk) and tinea unguium (nails, also called Diflunisal onychomycosis) (Degreef, 2008). Major prominent anthropophilic species, for example, Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton interdigitale and Trichophyton tonsurans, are mostly associated with more chronic, less inflammatory infections. In contrast,
zoophilic species, for example, Microsporum canis, Arthroderma benhamiae, Arthroderma vanbreuseghemii, Trichophyton erinacei and Trichophyton verrucosum as well as geophilic dermatophytes such as Microsporum gypseum often induce highly inflamed lesions in humans. Dermatophytes are ascomycete fungi. The anamorphs (asexual forms) are classified into three genera: Trichophyton, Microsporum and Epidermophyton. Teleomorphs (sexual forms) belong to the Arthroderma genus in the Ascomycotina subphylum. Dermatophytes are heterothallic (mating types are designated as either ‘+’ or ‘−’); however, in many zoophilic and anthropophilic species, sexual reproduction has not been observed. Recent progress in molecular taxonomy and insights into mating revealed that Trichophyton mentagrophytes was a complex of anthropophilic and zoophilic species that produce different teleomorphs, leading to a current confusion in species denomination. For example, A.