The New Species Concept in Dermatophytes—a Polyphasic Approach
Somatic extracts from dermatophytes of the Trichophyton mentagrophytes complex and of Trichophyton interdigitale grown on trypticase soy broth were prepared for analytical isoelectric focusing in thin layer polyacrylamide gels over the pH range 4-6.5. A total of 44 strains were studied: 8 Arthroderma benhamiae (4 Americano-European and 4 African races), 4 Arthroderma vanbreuseghemii, 6 Trichophyton mentagrophytes and 26 Trichophyton interdigitale. Laser densitometric analysis revealed two outstanding clusters of profiles. The first one matched with the Arthroderma vanbreuseghemii profile and gathered all the Trichophyton interdigitale strains studied and 4 Trichophyton mentagrophytes. The second one corresponded to the Arthroderma benhamiae profile and gathered 2 Trichophyton mentagrophytes. This isoelectric focusing analysis suggests on one hand that Trichophyton interdigitale might be the anamorph species corresponding to the teleomorph Arthroderma vanbreuseghemii, and on the other hand that Trichophyton mentagrophytes might correspond to two teleomorph species, either Arthroderma vanbreuseghemii or Arthroderma benhamiae.