Dermatophytes colonize the keratinized skin layer attacking hair, nail & skin. In recent years we have experienced that the dermatophytes are gaining access to the deeper sites. As a result, dermatophytes are beginning to adapt a symbiotic relationship with human tissue causing systemic mycosis. The number of clinical cases of dermatophytes causing systemic fungal infections is low. We have come across four dermatophytic agents causing infection beyond non-superficial sites. Three of the four isolates belong to the Trichophyton genus and the fourth belongs to Microsporum genus. The first isolate identified as Trichophyton rubrum (recovered from lung biopsy), the second isolate Trichophyton tonsurans (recovered from cornea), the 3rd isolate identified as Trichophyton violaceum (recovered from occipital bone) and the 4th isolate Microsporum gypseum (recovered from BAL specimen). We assume that more infections caused by dermatophytic agents will be seen in the future, and turning this group of fungi as an opportunistic pathogenic entity capable of causing local, systemic and disseminated fungal infection.
Superficial Mycotic Agents (Dermatophytes)
Dermatophytes are known to cause site-specific mycosis involving dead skin layers such as the stratum corneum and remain confined to the hair, skin and nails1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 . Dermatophytes are made up of three genera; Microsporum, Trichophyton & Epidermophyton infecting superficial skin, hair & nail of normally immunocompetent hosts1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9. Such anatomical sites have the required pH, temperature and nutritional requirements for the dermatophytes 8 . As a result Dermatophytes are restricted to invade deeper site.