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First Report on the Occurence of Dermatophytes of Microsporum Cookei Clade and Close Affinities to Paraphyton Cookei in the Harmanecká Cave (Veľká Fatra Mts., Slovakia)

1
Department of Mycology and Genetics, Institute of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Wroclaw, Przybyszewskiego Street 63/77, 51-148 Wroclaw, Poland
2
State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic, Slovak Caves Administration, Hodžova 11, 031-01 Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2019, 11(10), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11100191
Received: 2 October 2019 / Revised: 10 October 2019 / Accepted: 11 October 2019 / Published: 13 October 2019
Keratinolytic and keratinophilic fungi, such as dermatophytes, are frequently a cause of infections in humans and animals. Underground ecosystems are inhabited by various animals and are of interest for tourists. Therefore, the main goal of our research was the first evaluation of sediment and soil samples taken inside and outside the Harmanecká Cave in Slovakia for the occurrence of keratinolytic and keratinophilic fungi. Tests with Vanbreuseghema bait, as well as phenotyping and molecular methods, showed that all of the sampling sites contained ten isolates, all of the same species of keratinophilic fungi, belonging to the Microsporum cookei clade and with close affinities to Paraphyton cookei (Ajello) Y. Gräser, Dukik & de Hoog. Our research showed that, dependent on the medium, its mycelium varied in color and showed different growth rates. It also produced metabolites alkalizing DTM (dermatophyte test medium) medium. It dissolved keratin in in vitro hair perforation tests and was able to utilize most substrates in the API® 20C AUX, except for MDG (α-methyl-D-glucoside). In addition, the vegetative structures of mycelium were viable after storage at temperatures from −72 to −5 °C for 56 days, and actively grew after 28 days at a temperature range from 15 to 37 °C, with 25 °C being optimal. It showed weak, but active, growth at 5 and 10 °C after 56 days. We can assume that due to the low temperature in the caves, this fungus will not be able to actively grow rapidly on keratin substrates, but the contact with mammals, along with other favorable factors, might lead to an infection. View Full-Text
Keywords: Dermatophyte; Paraphyton cookei; underground ecosystem; Slovakia; Harmanecká Cave Dermatophyte; Paraphyton cookei; underground ecosystem; Slovakia; Harmanecká Cave
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Ogórek, R.; Piecuch, A.; Višňovská, Z.; Cal, M.; Niedźwiecka, K. First Report on the Occurence of Dermatophytes of Microsporum Cookei Clade and Close Affinities to Paraphyton Cookei in the Harmanecká Cave (Veľká Fatra Mts., Slovakia). Diversity 2019, 11, 191.

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