Dermatophytosis is a common mycotic infection of the skin, nail, and hair, associated with major public health concern worldwide. Various species of dermatophytes show significant differences in susceptibility to antifungals. Here, we present the antifungal susceptibility of a large collection of molecularly identified dermatophyte isolates obtained from tropical region of south of Iran. A total of 9485 patients clinically suspected to have cutaneous fungal infections were examined. Dermatophytosis was confirmed in 1502 cases by direct microscopy and culture. Three hundred and sixteen isolates recovered in culture were identified to species level using PCR sequencing of ITS region and RFLP. Tinea corporis was the most prevalent type of clinical manifestation (35.2 %), followed by tinea cruris (17 %), tinea capitis (12.8 %), tinea pedis (11.3 %), tinea manuum (11 %), tinea unguium (6.9 %), and tinea barbae (5.8 %). Trichophyton interdigitale was the most common isolate (49.36 %), followed by Trichophyton rubrum (18.98 %), Epidermophyton floccosum (13.29 %), Microsporum canis (9.17 %), Arthroderma benhamiae (T. anamorph of A. benhamiae; 5.38 %), and Trichophyton tonsurans (3.79 %). Overall, irrespective of the geographical region, terbinafine was the most potent antifungal against all isolates, with an MIC range of 0.002–0.25 μg/mL, followed by itraconazole (0.004–0.5 μg/mL), griseofulvin (0.125–8 μg/mL), and fluconazole (4–128 μg/mL). Analysis of our data revealed a significant increase in the frequency of A.benhamiae, which definitely warrants further investigation to explore source of this infection in south of Iran. Moreover, terbinafine was the most effective antifungal against all isolates, in vitro.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases