Lineages Within the Trichophyton rubrum Complex

  • Ann PackeuEmail author
  • Dirk Stubbe
  • Sam Roesems
  • Karine Goens
  • Pascale Van Rooij
  • Sybren de Hoog
  • Marijke Hendrickx
Original Paper


The most important species of the Trichophyton rubrum group are T. rubrum, causing mainly skin and nail infections, and T. violaceum which is mostly scalp-associated. The status of a third species, T. soudanense, has been under debate. With a polyphasic approach, using molecular phylogenetic techniques, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and physiological and morphological analysis, we re-evaluated the T. rubrum complex. Our results support four genetic lineages within the complex each with a distinct morphology and identifiable via MALDI-TOF MS: T. rubrum, T. violaceum, T. soudanense and the T. yaoundei clade. However, ITS and Bt2 sequencing data could not confirm these taxa as four monophyletic species. Our results also suggest that strains formerly identified as T. kuryangei and T. megninii should be considered in future taxonomic studies.


Medical mycology Dermatophytes MALDI-TOF MS Taxonomy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

No research involving human participants and/or animals was conducted.

Informed Consent

No studies involving human participants were carried out.

Supplementary material

11046_2019_386_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (139 kb)
Supplementary file1 (PDF 139 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Service of Mycology and AerobiologySciensanoBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.BCCM/IHEM fungal Collection, Service of Mycology and AerobiologySciensanoBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Center of Expertise in Mycology of Radboudumc/Canisius Wilhelmina HospitalNijmegenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity InstituteUtrechtThe Netherlands
  5. 5.MerelbekeBelgium

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