, Volume 27, Issue 7, pp 1719-1723
Date: 21 Nov 2010

In vitro susceptibility to antimycotic drug undecanoic acid, a medium-chain fatty acid, is nutrient-dependent in the dermatophyte Trichophyton rubrum

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The antimycotic activity of fatty acids has long been known, and their presence in human skin and sweat appears to protect the host against superficial mycoses. Undecanoic acid is a medium-chain fatty acid that has been used in the treatment of dermatophytoses in humans. In this study, we selected one Trichophyton rubrum undecanoic acid-resistant strain that showed a marked reduction in its capacity to grow on human nail fragments, which correlated with the reduced activity of secreted keratinolytic proteases. Moreover, the susceptibility of T. rubrum to undecanoic acid is also dependent on the carbon source utilized by both control and resistant strains. The growth of the control strain was strongly inhibited by undecanoic acid in Sabouraud medium or in cultures supplemented with low-fat milk, whereas it was ineffective when the cultures were supplemented with Tween 20 or keratin as the carbon source, suggesting that nutrient conditions are crucial in establishing a susceptibility to antifungal drugs, which is helpful for the isolation and characterization of resistant strains, and in the screening for new antifungal drugs.