Epidermophyton floccosum

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Epidermophyton floccosum
Epidermophyton floccosum 01.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Eurotiomycetes
Order: Onygenales
Family: Arthrodermataceae
Genus: Epidermophyton
Species: E. floccosum
Binomial name
Epidermophyton floccosum
(Harz) Langeron & Miloch.

Acrothecium floccosum Harz
Blastotrichum floccosum (Harz) Berl. & Voglino
Dactylium floccosum (Harz) Sartory

Epidermophyton floccosum is an anthropophilic dermatophyte (preferring humans to other hosts) which can be found worldwide.[1]


The fungus was originally described by Carl Otto Harz in 1870, who named it Acrothecium floccosum.[2] It was later renamed Blastotrichum floccosum, a name given to it in Rabenhort's Krytpogamen Flora, (1907), and finally as Epidermophyton floccosum by Ota and Langeron in 1923.[3]


The fungus is a moderate grower that reaches maturity after 10 days. The colonies are usually grainy, have a suede-like texture, and may be olive, yellow, or yellow-brown in color. The central region is raised slightly. Fluffy white sterile mycelia cover the colonies after several weeks.[4] Epidermophyton floccosum contains an unusual lipid of unknown function, 1(3),2-diacylglyceryl-3(1)-O-4′-(N,N,N-trimethyl)homoserine. Two other dermatophytes Microsporum cookei and Trichophyton rubrum do not contain this lipid.[5] Microconidia are usually absent.[6]


The fungus is the only pathogen of the two species comprising genus Epidermophyton. Hosts of the fungi are humans, wild animals, and domestic animals.[7] The fungi can cause tinea pedis, tinea cruris, tinea corporis, and onychomycosis. The infection spreads by contact, especially in gyms and showers.[8] The infection can be stopped by bathing with soap and water and applying an appropriate fungicide.[7] A study of 900 patients afflicted with E. floccosum infection investigating the contagious aspects of the fungus was conducted in Korea, from 1976 to 1997. The study found that fewer people were infected by E. floccosum than by other dermatophytes.[9] The fungus may be transmitted between humans and squirrels.[10] The fungi can usually only infect the nonliving cornified layers of epidermis.[6] An invasive infection has, however, been recorded in an immunocompromised patient with Behçet's syndrome.[8][11]


  1. ^ "Epidermophyton floccosum". Mycology Online. Archived from the original on 2010-05-25. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  2. ^ Harz OC. (1870). "Einige neue Hyphomyceten Berlin's and Wien's nebst Beiträgen zur Systematik derselben". Bulletin de la Société Impériale des Naturalistes de Moscou (in German). 44: 87–147. 
  3. ^ Ota M, Langeron M (1923). "Nouvelle classification des Dermatophytes". Annals of Parasitology (in French). 1: 305–306. 
  4. ^ "http://www.cmpt.ca/pdf_mycology_2008/mp_0801_2_epfl_nail.pdf". CMPT Mycology Plus. January 2008.  External link in |title= (help)
  5. ^ Tomiyasu Yamada and Yoshinori Nozawa, T (1979-09-28). "An unusual lipid in the human pathogenic fungus Epidermophyton floccosum". Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Lipids and Lipid Metabolism. 574 (3): 433–439. doi:10.1016/0005-2760(79)90239-X. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  6. ^ a b "Epidermophyton". QurNail. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  7. ^ a b "Infectious Diseases: Epidermophyton floccosum, Microsporum spp., Trichophyton spp". MSD Online. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  8. ^ a b "Epidermophyton spp". Doctor Fungus. Archived from the original on May 19, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  9. ^ "The Epidemiologic Study on Epidermophyton floccosum (1976–1997)". Korean Journal of Medical Mycology. 1 (21–26). 1999-06-04. Retrieved 2010-05-22. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Hosseininejad, M.; Ebrahimi, A.; Hosseini, F. (2009). "Isolation of Epidermophyton floccosum from a Persian squirrel (Sciurus anomalus)". Comparative Clinical Pathology. 19 (2): 215–216. doi:10.1007/s00580-009-0829-4. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  11. ^ Seddon, ME; Thomas, MG (1997). "Invasive disease due to Epidermophyton floccosum in an immunocompromised patient with Behçet's syndrome". Clinical Infectious Diseases. 25 (1): 153–4. doi:10.1086/516887. PMID 9243051.