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Resistance Profile, Terbinafine Resistance Screening and MALDI-TOF MS Identification of the Emerging Pathogen Trichophyton indotineae.

Mycopathologia 2024 March 15
The emerging pathogen Trichophyton indotineae, often resistant to terbinafine (TRB), is known to cause severe dermatophytoses such as tinea corporis and tinea cruris. In order to achieve successful treatment for these infections, insight in the resistance profile of T. indotineae strains and rapid, reliable identification is necessary. In this research, a screening medium was tested on T. indotineae strains (n = 20) as an indication tool of TRB resistance. The obtained results were confirmed by antifungal susceptibility testing (AST) for TRB following the in vitro broth microdilution reference method. Additionally, AST was performed for eight other antifungal drugs: fluconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole, ketoconazole, griseofulvin, ciclopirox olamine, naftifine and amorolfine. Forty-five percent of the strains were confirmed to be resistant to terbinafine. The TRB resistant strains showed elevated minimal inhibitory concentration values for naftifine and amorolfine as well. DNA sequencing of the squalene epoxidase-encoding gene showed that TRB resistance was a consequence of missense point mutations in this gene, which led to amino acid substitutions F397L or L393F. MALDI-TOF MS was used as a quick, accurate identification tool for T. indotineae, as it can be challenging to distinguish it from closely related species such as Trichophyton mentagrophytes or Trichophyton interdigitale using morphological characteristics. While MALDI-TOF MS could reliably identify ≥ 95% of the T. indotineae strains (depending on the spectral library), it could not be used to successfully distinguish TRB susceptible from TRB resistant strains.

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