Onygenales can consume and break down keratin, the main component of the outer layer of skin.  They are primarily found on animals, droppings, and areas frequented by animals. One species, Trichophyton rubrum, is the primary cause of athlete's foot.
The Onygenales are important as emerging human pathogens because of the rising rates of immunosuppression due to live-organ transplant, HIV/AIDS, and autoimmune disorders such as lupus erythematosus.
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