The fungus genus Trichophyton is characterized by the development of both smooth-walled macro- and microconidia. Macroconidia are mostly borne laterally directly on the hyphae or on short pedicels, and are thin- or thick-walled, clavate to fusiform, and range from 4 to 8 by 8 to 50 μm in size. Macroconidia are few or absent in many species. Microconidia are spherical, pyriform to clavate or of irregular shape, and range from 2 to 3 by 2 to 4 μm in size. Trichophyton species are the most common cause of athlete's foot (tinea pedis).
Effect on humans
Known as "Malabar itch", a skin infection consisting of an eruption of a number of concentric rings of overlapping scales forming papulosquamous patches is caused by the fungus. It also causes athlete's foot, ringworm, jock itch, and similar infections of the nail, beard, skin and scalp.
Species and their natural reservoirs
|Trichophyton equinum||zoophilic (horse)|
|Trichophyton flavescens||geophilic (feathers)|
|Trichophyton mentagrophytes var. erinacei||zoophilic (hedgehog)|
|Trichophyton mentagrophytes var. interdigitale||anthropophilic|
|Trichophyton rubrum downy strain||anthropophilic|
|Trichophyton rubrum granular strain||anthropophilic|
|Trichophyton simii||zoophilic (monkey, fowl)|
|Trichophyton verrucosum||zoophilic (cattle, horse)|
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