Lineages Within the Trichophyton rubrum Complex
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The most important species of the Trichophyton rubrum group are T. rubrum, causing mainly skin and nail infections, and T. violaceum which is mostly scalp-associated. The status of a third species, T. soudanense, has been under debate. With a polyphasic approach, using molecular phylogenetic techniques, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and physiological and morphological analysis, we re-evaluated the T. rubrum complex. Our results support four genetic lineages within the complex each with a distinct morphology and identifiable via MALDI-TOF MS: T. rubrum, T. violaceum, T. soudanense and the T. yaoundei clade. However, ITS and Bt2 sequencing data could not confirm these taxa as four monophyletic species. Our results also suggest that strains formerly identified as T. kuryangei and T. megninii should be considered in future taxonomic studies.
KeywordsMedical mycology Dermatophytes MALDI-TOF MS Taxonomy
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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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