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Journal: Mycoses


A number of herbal products with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antimycotic properties are available for dermatological usage. The successful treatment of 13 sheep affected by ringworm due to Trichophyton mentagrophytes with a mixture consisting of essential oils (EOs) of Thymus serpillum 2%, Origanum vulgare 5% and Rosmarinus officinalis 5% in sweet almond (Prunus dulcis) oil. The effectiveness of EOs and of the major components of the mixture (thymol, carvacrol, 1,8 cineole, α-pinene, p-cymene, γ-terpinene) against the fungal clinical isolate was evaluated by a microdilution test. Thirteen animals were topically administered with the mixture twice daily for 15 days. The other sheep were administered with a conventional treatment (seven animals) or left untreated (two animals). Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were 0.1% for T. serpillum, 0.5% for O. vulgare, 2.5% for I. verum and 5% for both R. officinalis and C. limon. Thymol and carvacrol showed MICs of 0.125% and 0.0625%. A clinical and aetiological cure was obtained at the end of each treatment regimen in only the treated animals. Specific antimycotic drugs licenced for food-producing sheep are not available within the European Community. The mixture tested here appeared to be a versatile tool for limiting fungal growth.

Concepts: Medicine, Lamiaceae, Medicinal plants, Essential oil, Almond, Oregano, Origanum, Marjoram


In recent years, Aspergillus species are reported frequently as aetiological agents of fungal keratitis in tropical countries such as India. Our aim was to evaluate the epidemiological features of Aspergillus keratitis cases over a 3-year period in a tertiary eye care hospital and to determine the antifungal susceptibilities of the causative agents. This study included culture proven Aspergillus keratitis cases diagnosed between September 2005 and August 2008. Data including prevalence, predisposing factors and demography were recorded, the isolates were identified by morphological and molecular methods and the minimum inhibitory concentration values of antifungal agents towards the isolates were determined by the microdilution method. Two hundred Aspergillus isolates were identified among 1737 culture proven cases. Most of the aspergilli (75%) proved to be A. flavus, followed by A. fumigatus (11.5%). Sixteen (8%) isolates belonged to species that are recently identified causative agents of mycotic keratitis. Most of the infected patients (88%) were adults ranging from 21 to 70 years of age. Co-existing ocular disease was confirmed in 16.5% of the patients. Econazole, clotrimazole and ketoconazole were notably active against A. flavus. Aspergillus keratitis is a significant problem in patients with ocular lesions in South-Indian States, warranting early diagnosis and initiation of specific antifungal therapy to improve outcome.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Aspergillus flavus, Ophthalmology, Keratitis, Aspergillus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Ketoconazole, Fungal keratitis


Recent studies have shown decreased susceptibility of Candida krusei to amphotericin B (AmB), in addition to its inherent resistance to fluconazole. The susceptibility of C. krusei to AmB was studied in the Parasitology-Mycology laboratory of Grenoble Teaching Hospital, France. Between 2003 and 2011, we analysed 200 C. krusei isolates from 130 patients. The isolates were mainly collected in intensive care, cardio-thoracic and cancer/haematology units. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined by the E-test method. The modal MIC was 0.5 μg ml(-1) ; the MIC(50) and MIC(90) (MICs encompassing 50% and 90% of all isolates tested, respectively) were 0.5 μg ml(-1) and 1 μg ml(-1) . The Cuzick’s and Kendall’s tests showed a significant increase in MIC values between 2003 and 2011 (P = 0.001 and P ≤ 0.001, respectively), regardless of age or gender. No statistical difference was reached with these tests when the first 100 or 50 data were excluded. Despite the increase observed in the first period of the study, our results confirm the low AmB MICs reported in previous studies. However, some authors have recently reported much higher MICs. This discrepancy cannot be explained by method biases and could reflect C. krusei epidemiological differences among populations.

Concepts: Scientific method, Hospital, Retrospective, Amphotericin B, Cultural studies, Candida krusei


Candidal adhesion has been implicated as the initial step in the pathogenesis of oral candidiasis and cell surface hydrophobicity (CSH) has been implicated in adhesion to mucosal surfaces. Candida dubliniensis is an opportunistic pathogen associated with recurrent oral candidiasis. Chlorhexidine gluconate is by far the commonest antiseptic mouth wash prescribed in dentistry. At dosage intervals the intraoral concentration of this antiseptic fluctuates considerably and reaches sub-therapeutic levels due to the dynamics of the oral cavity. Hence, the organisms undergo only a limited exposure to the antiseptic during treatment. The impact of this antiseptic following such exposure on CSH of C. dubliniensis isolates has not been investigated. Hence, the main objective of this study was to investigate the effect of brief exposure to sub-therapeutic concentrations of chlorhexidine gluconate on the CSH of C. dubliniensis isolates. Twelve oral isolates of C. dubliniensis were briefly exposed to three sub-therapeutic concentrations of 0.005%, 0.0025% and 0.00125% chlorhexidine gluconate for 30 min. Following subsequent removal of the drug, the CSH of the isolates was determined by a biphasic aqueous-hydrocarbon assay. Compared with the controls, exposure to 0.005% and 0.0025% chlorhexidine gluconate suppressed the relative CSH of the total sample tested by 44.49% (P < 0.001) and 21.82% (P < 0.018), respectively, with all isolates being significantly affected. Although exposure to 0.00125% of chlorhexidine gluconate did not elicit a significant suppression on the total sample tested (7.01%; P > 0.05), four isolates of the group were significantly affected. These findings imply that exposure to sub-therapeutic concentrations of chlorhexidine gluconate may suppress CSH of C. dublinienis isolates, thereby reducing its pathogenicity and highlights further the pharmacodynamics of chlorhexidine gluconate.

Concepts: Antiseptic, Candida albicans, Candidiasis, Candida, Suppression, Gingivitis, Mouthwash, Chlorhexidine


In in vitro tests, natural coniferous resin from the Norway spruce (Picea abies) is strongly antifungal. In this observational study, we tested the clinical effectiveness of a lacquer composed of spruce resin for topical treatment of onychomycosis. Thirty-seven patients with clinical diagnosis of onychomycosis were enrolled into the study. All patients used topical resin lacquer treatment daily for 9 months. A mycological culture and potassium hydroxide (KOH) stain were done from nail samples in the beginning and in the end of the study. Treatment was considered effective, if a mycological culture was negative and there was an apparent clinical cure. At study entry, 20 patients (20/37; 54%; 95% CI: 38-70) had a positive mycological culture and/or positive KOH stain for dermatophytes. At study end, the result of 13 patients was negative (13/19; 68%; 95% CI: 48-89). In one case (1/14; 7%; 95% CI: 0-21) the mycological culture was initially negative, but it turned positive during the study period. By 14 compliant patients (14/32; 44%; 95% CI: 27-61), resin lacquer treatment was considered clinically effective: complete healing took place in three cases (9%) and partial healing in 11 cases (85%). The results indicate some evidence of clinical efficacy of the natural coniferous resin used for topical treatment of onychomycosis.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Effectiveness, Spruce, Pinophyta, Onychomycosis, Christmas tree, Norway Spruce, Picea


Pulmonary mucormycosis (PM) is a life-threatening opportunistic mycosis with a variable clinical evolution and few prognostic markers for outcome assessment. Several clinical risk factors for poor outcome present at the diagnosis of PM were analyzed in 75 consecutive hematology patients from 2000-2012. Significant variables (P < 0.1) were entered into a multivariate Cox-proportional hazard regression model adjusting for baseline APACHE II to identify independent risk factors for mortality within 28 days. Twenty-eight of 75 patients died within 4-week follow up. A lymphocyte count < 100/mm(3) at the time of diagnosis (adjusted hazard ratio 4.0, 1.7-9.4, P = 0.01) and high level of lactate dehydrogenase (AHR 3.7, 1.3-10.2, P = 0.015) were independent predictors along with APACHE II score for 28-day mortality. A weighted risk score based on these 3 baseline variables accurately identified non-surviving patients at 28 days (area under the receiver-operator curve of 0.87, 0.77-0.93, P < 0.001). A risk score > 22 was associated with 8-fold high rates of mortality (P < 0.0001) within 28 days of diagnosis and median survival of 7 days versus ≥28 days in patients with risk scores ≤22. We found that APACHE II score, severe lymphocytopenia and high LDH levels at the time of PM diagnosis were independent markers for rapid disease progression and death.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Death, Medical statistics, Risk, Leukemia, Blood disorders, Lactate dehydrogenase, Hematological malignancy


The red algae Asparagopsis taxiformis collected from the Straits of Messina (Italy) were screened for antifungal activity against Aspergillus species. EUCAST methodology was applied and extracts showed antifungal activity against A. fumigatus, A. terreus and A. flavus. The lowest minimum inhibitory concentrations observed were <0.15 mg ml(-1) and the highest were >5 mg ml(-1) for Aspergillus spp. tested. Agar diffusion assays confirmed antifungal activity of A. taxiformis extracts in Aspergillus species.

Concepts: Algae, Plant, Aspergillus, Brown algae, Sicily, Red algae, Algaculture, Coralline algae


Superficial fungal infections due to dermatophytes are common over the world and their frequency is constantly increasing. The aim of our study was to discuss fungal infections with frequency of occurrence, clinical stages and aetiology in patients admitted to dermatological ward and microbiological laboratory of the specialist hospital in Krakow. Investigations performed between 1995 and 2010 included the group of 5333 individuals. Dermatophyte infections, confirmed by culture, were revealed in 1007 subjects (18.9%), i.e. in 553 males and 454 females. The most frequent clinical forms of infections were tinea unguium and tinea pedis, caused mainly by Trichophyton rubrum and by Trichophyton mentagrophytes. Tinea corporis, tinea manuum, tinea capitis and tinea cruris constituted a small percentage of infections and the main aetiological factors of these dermatomycoses were also T. rubrum and T. mentagrophytes. Between 1995 and 2000 there were stated small differences in the number of isolated strains of dermatophytes in comparison with the number of examined patients. Since 2006 there has been observed a decrease in number of patients in our hospital with suspected fungal infections, but per cent of positive cultures has remained unchanged in comparison with earlier period.

Concepts: Trichophyton rubrum, Onychomycosis, Athlete's foot, Dermatophyte, Fungal diseases, Terbinafine, Mycosis-related cutaneous conditions, Dermatophytosis


Onychomycosis constitutes up to 50% of all nail disorders. Toenails are generally affected, mostly due to dermatophytes. Terbinafine is the most potent antifungal agent in vitro against dermatophytes. There are few randomised controlled trials using a non-continuous dose of terbinafine. The aim of this open-label pilot study was to reduce the total drug amount, the collateral effects and, specially, the costs; albeit maintaining the same efficacy of the standard regimens. Compare the outcomes of two different intermittent regimens with the same total amount of the medication (42 tablets in 6 months). Forty-one patients were divided into the following groups: terbinafine 250 mg day(-1) , for 7 days, monthly or terbinafine 500 mg day(-1) , once daily, for 7 days, every 2 months, both plus nail abrasion during 6 months. The efficacy was evaluated at months 6, 12 and 18 using the disease free nail criteria. Total cure = group I: eight patients (44.4%) and group II: eight patients (44.4%). Partial cure = group I: five patients (27.8%) and group II: four patients (22.2%). Treatment failure = group I: five patients (27.8%) and group II: three patients (16.7%). Recurrence = group I: zero patients (0.0%) and group II: three patients (16.7%). Two intermittent dosing regimens of terbinafine plus nail abrasion proved to be an alternative statistically effective, safe and with reduced drug costs for dermatophytes toenail onychomycosis.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness, Onychomycosis, Athlete's foot, Nail, Ketoconazole, Nail disease, Claw


Most superficial mycotic infections of human skin are due to dermatophytes. Children are frequently affected due to different predisposing factors, particularly overcrowding in classrooms.

Concepts: Dermatophyte, Fungal diseases