Abstract

Dermatophytosis is a fungal infection of skin, hair and nails, and the most frequently found causative agent is Trichophyton rubrum. The disease is very common and often recurring, and it is therefore difficult to eradicate. To develop and test novel treatments, infection models that are representative of the infection process are desirable. Several infection models have been developed, including the use of cultured cells, isolated corneocytes, explanted human skin or reconstituted human epidermis. However, these have various disadvantages, ranging from not being an accurate reflection of the site of infection, as is the case with, for example, cultured cells, to being difficult to scale up or having ethical issues (e.g., explanted human skin). We therefore sought to develop an infection model using explanted porcine skin, which is low cost and ethically neutral. We show that in our model, fungal growth is dependent on the presence of skin, and adherence of conidia is time-dependent with maximum adherence observed after ~ 2 h. Scanning electron microscopy suggested the production of fibril-like material that links conidia to each other and to skin. Prolonged incubation of infected skin leads to luxurious growth and invasion of the dermis, which is not surprising as the skin is not maintained in conditions to keep the tissue alive, and therefore is likely to lack an active immune system that would limit fungal growth. Therefore, the model developed seems useful to study the early stages of infection. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the model can be used to test novel treatment regimens for tinea infections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-243
Number of pages11
JournalMycopathologia
Volume185
Issue number2
Early online date27 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Antifungals
  • Dermatophytes
  • Explanted porcine skin
  • Skin infection model
  • Trichophyton rubrum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)

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