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Mould Identification: A Virtual Self Assessment

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Unknown 72 = Trichophyton erinacei

Case History
A zoo keeper presented with an erythematous scaly skin lesion on the wrist.  The fungus below was isolated.

Trichophyton erinacei is a zoophilic fungus associated with hedgehogs and the epidermal mites which they often harbour. Human infections occur most frequently on the exposed parts of the body; but tinea of the scalp and nails can also occur. Invaded hairs show an ectothrix infection but do not fluoresce under Wood's ultra-violet light. The distribution of this fungus is New Zealand and Europe.

Colonies are white, flat, powdery, sometimes downy to fluffy with a brilliant lemon yellow reverse.

Numerous large clavate microconidia are borne on the sides of hyphae. Macroconidia are smooth-walled, two- to six-celled, clavate, variable in size, and may have terminal appendages. Macroconidia are much shorter than those seen in T. mentagrophytes.
Comment: T. erinacei  is generally distinguished from other varieties of T. mentagrophytes by (a) its microscopic morphology showing numerous large slender clavate microconidia borne on the slides of hyphae and its smooth, thin-walled clavate macroconidia; (b) its brilliant lemon yellow reverse pigment on plain Sabouraud's agar and Lactritmel agar; (c) its lack of reverse pigment on Sabouraud's salt agar; and (d) its negative hydrolysis of urea.

About Trichophyton erinacei Back to Virtual Assessment

What is your identification?

Trichophyton mentagrophytes
Trichophyton erinacei
Trichophyton quinkeanum

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School of Biological Sciences



Dr David Ellis