Trichophyton mentagrophytes a keratinophilic fungus
Department of Microbiology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State,
Trichophyton mentagrophytes is a keratinophylic fungus belonging to a homogeneous
group of fungi called the dermatophytes. The dermatophytes cause a variety
of cutaneous infections in humans and animals. T. mentagrophytes has at
least five different variants which make up the Trichophyton mentagrophytes
complex. Two perfect states Arthroderma benhamiae and Arthroderma vanbreuseghemii
have been ascribed for T. mentagrophytes. The organism has variable characteristics
with anthropophilic form producing sparse aerial mycelium with numerous
spores. The zoophilic isolate produces powdery or granular colonies. Microscopically
the most consistent feature of T. mentagrophytes is the production of globose
microaleuriospores arranged in grape-like clusters.
T. mentagrophytes assimilates phosphorus, potassium, sodium and calcium.
It utilizes methionine but is inhibited by folic acid. The organism has
been recovered from a variety of sources such as soil, floor of swimming
pools, hairs of wild boar, cats and dogs, farm animals, foot wears, shower
stalls and from human toewebs without clinical lesions.
T. mentagrophytes breaks down keratinous substrates by both chemical
and mechanical ways. Five different keratinolytic enzymes from ten strains
of T. mentagrophytes have been isolated. These enzymes are known to play
a role in pathogenesis of infections caused by this organisms in both humans
In: Kushwaha RKS, Guarro J (Eds.). Biology
of Dermatophytes and other Keratinophilic Fungi.
2000-2021@ Revista Iberoamericana de Micología. All rights reserved.
Revista Iberoamericana de Micología, Bilbao, 2000.