Diagnostic spectrum

General information

Dermatophytes are filamentous fungi that can cause skin lesions in humans and animals. The disease is called dermatophytosis. The fungi use keratin as a carbon source and colonize keratinized tissue (hair, skin, nails).
Dermatophytes are highly contagious. Infection is direct or indirect. Enabling factors are, for example, immunosuppression, reduced immune response (eg high age) or pre-damage of the skin (eg by ectoparasites). Spores as propagating form can also remain infectious in the environment for years.
The clinical symptoms are diverse and dependent on the virulence of the fungal strain, the infection period and the immune status of the host. Typical patchy alopecia are on the face, ears and front legs. An itch may be missing or from mild to severe. In case of skin diseases, a dermatophytosis must always be considered in the differential diagnosis.