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Open Access Highly Accessed Short Report

Rapid detection of dermatophytes from skin and hair

Jaya Garg, Ragini Tilak, Atul Garg*, Pradyot Prakash, Anil Kumar Gulati and Gopal Nath

Author Affiliations

Department of Microbiology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India

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BMC Research Notes 2009, 2:60  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-2-60

Published: 18 April 2009

Abstract

Background

Dermatophytes are a group of closely related keratinophilic fungi that can invade keratinized humans and animals tissues such as skin, hair and nails causing dermatophytosis. They are an important cause of superficial fungal infection.

Findings

Conventional methods like potassium hydroxide (KOH) microscopy and fungal culture lacks the ability to make an early and specific diagnosis. In this study we have evaluated nested Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using primers targeting dermatophyte specific sequence of chitin synthase 1 (CHS1) gene and compared with conventional test. A total of 155 patients clinically suspected with dermatophytosis were included in the study. Of which 105 specimens were skin scrapings and 50 were hair. KOH microscopy, fungal culture and first round and nested PCR were done on clinical specimens, and results compared. Nested PCR for dermatophytes was positive in 83.8% specimens, followed by KOH microscopy (70%), first round PCR (50.8) and fungal culture (25.8).

Conclusion

Results indicate that nested PCR may be considered as gold standard for the diagnosis of dermatophytosis and can aid the clinician in initiating prompt and appropriate antifungal therapy.