Journal of medical microbiology

Quantitative and structural analyses of the in vitro and ex vivo biofilm-forming ability of dermatophytes.

PMID 28708048


The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro and ex vivo biofilm-forming ability of dermatophytes on a nail fragment. Initially, four isolates of Trichophyton rubrum, six of Trichophyton tonsurans, three of Trichophyton mentagrophytes, ten of Microsporum canis and three of Microsporum gypseum were tested for production biomass by crystal violet assay. Then, one strain per species presenting the best biofilm production was chosen for further studies by optical microscopy (Congo red staining), confocal laser scanning (LIVE/DEAD staining) and scanning electron (secondary electron) microscopy. Biomass quantification by crystal violet assay, optical microscope images of Congo red staining, confocal microscope and scanning electron microscope images revealed that all species studied are able to form biofilms both in vitro and ex vivo, with variable density and architecture. M. gypseum, T. rubrum and T. tonsurans produced robust biofilms, with abundant matrix and biomass, while M. canis produced the weakest biofilms compared to other species. This study sheds light on biofilms of different dermatophyte species, which will contribute to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of dermatophytosis. Further studies of this type are necessary to investigate the processes involved in the formation and composition of dermatophyte biofilms.