Journal of clinical microbiology

Highly discriminatory variable-number tandem-repeat markers for genotyping of Trichophyton interdigitale strains.

PMID 24989614


Trichophyton interdigitale is the second most frequent cause of superficial fungal infections of various parts of the human body. Studying the population structure and genotype differentiation of T. interdigitale strains may lead to significant improvements in clinical practice. The present study aimed to develop and select suitable variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) markers for 92 clinical strains of T. interdigitale. On the basis of an analysis of four VNTR markers, four to eight distinct alleles were detected for each marker. The marker with the highest discriminatory power had eight alleles and a D value of 0.802. The combination of all four markers yielded a D value of 0.969 with 29 distinct multilocus genotypes. VNTR typing revealed the genetic diversity of the strains, identifying three populations according to their colonization sites. A correlation between phenotypic characteristics and multilocus genotypes was observed. Seven patients harbored T. interdigitale strains with different genotypes. Typing of clinical T. interdigitale samples by VNTR markers displayed excellent discriminatory power and 100% reproducibility.