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Epidermophyton  Mold Species

Epidermophyton species is a causative agent of Dermatophytosis and several Tinea skin infections such as Tinea pedis (Athlete's foot), Tinea cruris (Jock itch), Tinea corporis, and Tinea manuum.

(Information from @ 2005)



Taxonomic Classifications


Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Euascomycetes

Order: Onygenales

Genus: Epidermophyton

Epidermophyton Mold Pictures

Picture of Epidermophyton microsopic morphology from doctor fungus

(Image Courtesy of @ 2005)


Take note of the microscopic morphology of Epidermophyton floccosum showing characteristic smooth, thin -walled macroconidia, which are often produced in, clusters growing directly from the hyphae.



Picture of Epidermophyton colony morphology

(Image Courtesy of @ 2005)


Colony morphology of Epidermophyton floccosum on mycobiotic agar.


Take note of the colonies that are usually greenish - brown or khaki coloured with a suede - like surface, raised and folded in the centre, with a flat periphery and submerged fringe of growth while older cultures may develop white pleomorphic tufts of mycelium.




Picture of Tinea pedis

Image Courtesy of @ 2005)


Severe tinea of the foot (tinea pedis) caused by Epidermophyton floccosum showing extensive scaling.





Epidermophyton is a cosmopolitan dermatophyte, filamentous fungus.  Epidermophyton floccosum is the only species considered as pathogenic as its primary host is human thus, it is also known as anthropophilic.  Soil is the natural habitat of the related but the non - pathogenic species Epidermophyton stockdaleae



The genus Epidermophyton contains two species only, namely: Epidermophyton floccosum and Epidermophyton stockdaleae. Epidermophyton stockdaleae is known to be non - pathogenic, leaving Epidermophyton floccosum as the only anthropophilic species causing infections in humans.


Pathogenicity and Health Effects

Epidermophyton floccosum is one of the causative agents of cutaneous infections, dermatophytosis, in healthy individuals which particularly infects the skin.  Skin infections include the body surface (tinea corporis), groin (tinea cruris), feet (tinea pedis) and nails (onychomycosis).  The fungus lacks the ability to penetrate the viable tissue of the immunocompetent host thus, the infection is only restricted to the non living cornified layers of epidermis.  However, infection due to invasive Epidermophyton floccosum has been reported in an immunocompromised patient with Behcets syndrome.  Furthermore, Epidermophyton floccosum infections are communicable and can be transmitted by contact, particularly in common showers and gym facilities. 


Macroscopic Appearance

     Growth rate is moderately rapid and colonies mature within 10 days;

      Colonies texture is flat, initially grainy and becoming radially grooved, felty and velvety by maturation and quickly become downy and sterile; and

     Surface colony color is brownish yellow to olive gray or khaki and while orange to brown on the reverse with an occasional yellow border. 


Microscopic Appearance

      Hyaline septate hyphae, macroconidia, and occasionally,  chlamydoconidium like cells are present while microconidia are typically absent;

      Macroconidia  are club shaped with thin, smooth walls, three to five celled, with size of 10 to 40 x 6 to 12 m, and may be solitary or in groups; and

      Chlamydoconidium like cells and arthroconidia are formed in mature cultures.


Laboratory Precautions

Only general laboratory precautions are required, no special safety measures needed.


In vitro antifungal susceptibility testing methods have not been standardized for Epidermophyton floccosum.  However, some reports on in vitro activity of various antifungal drugs are also available.  Most of these studies have utilized the modifications of the NCCLS M 38P methodology documented for conidium - forming filamentous fungi. The results of these analyses show that, ketoconazole, itraconazole, terbinafine, and voriconazole generate low MICs and appear active in vitro against E. floccosum while griseofulvin is less active than the other mentioned compounds.  On the other hand, fluconazole generates the highest MICs and appears to have the lowest activity among the others.  Furthermore, amorolfine and naftifine also exhibit in vitro activity against E. floccosum.

The mycological information gathered
and organized in this extensive research
on different Pathogenic Molds was
sourced out from the list of informative
websites and reference book below:

A Clinical Laboratory Handbook:
Identifying Filamentous Fungi by
St. Germain, Guy and R. Summerbell.


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