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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 389-399

Immunopathogenesis of dermatophytoses and factors leading to recalcitrant infections

Department of Dermatology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Kabir Sardana
Department of Dermatology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Baba Kharak Singh Road, New Delhi - 110 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/idoj.IDOJ_503_20

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The pathogenesis of dermatophytic infections involves the interplay of three major factors: the dermatophyte, the inherent host defense, and the adaptive host immune response. The fungal virulence factors determine the adhesion and invasion of the skin while the immune response depends on an interaction of the pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMP) with pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) of the host, which lead to a differential Th (T helper) 1, Th2, Th17, and Treg response. While anthropophilic dermatophytes Trichophyton rubrum and now increasingly by T. interdigitale subvert the immune response via mannans, zoophilic species are eliminated due to a brisk immune response. Notably, delayed-type hypersensitivity (Th1) response of T lymphocytes causes the elimination of fungal infection, while chronic disease caused by anthropophilic species corresponds to toll-like receptor 2 mediated IL (interleukin)-10 release and generation of T-regulatory cells with immunosuppressive potential. Major steps that determine the ultimate clinical course and chronicity include genetic susceptibility factors, impaired epidermal and immunological barriers, variations in the composition of sebum and sweat, carbon dioxide tension, skin pH, and topical steroid abuse. It is important to understand these multifarious aspects to surmount the problem of recalcitrant dermatophytosis when the disorder fails conventional therapeutic agents.

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