Trichosporon cutaneum

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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de Beurmann, Gougerot and Vaucher, 1909; Ota, 1926

General definition
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Human pathogenic yeast fungus (shoot). Spread as saprophyte and contaminant in water, soil and food (fruit). Very strong ability to assimilate to a variety of different substrates. Occasionally used in sewage treatment plants for waste water treatment. Spread often through infected clothing.

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Worldwide spread. Often found near humans or in animal warm-blooded animals.

Clinical picture
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  • Soft, slimy, easily detachable, white-green to slightly brownish knots, especially on the pubic and beard hairs which surround the hair shaft. More rarely, capillitium, eyebrows and eyelashes are affected. The hairs break easily in the area of the knots; the distal ends of the fractures appear distended. No infestation of the surrounding integument. Typical picture of Trichomycosis nodularis ( white piedra).
  • Frequent infestation of finger and toe nails in mixed infections together with dermatophytes. S.u. Tinea unguium.

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  • Mycelium and pseudomycelium: Often disintegrated into angular arthrospores and blastospores, length: 2-8 μm; width: 2-4 μm.
  • Blastospores: Mostly arranged in chains, may be missing in older cultures.
  • Hyphae and pseudohyphae: Well developed, numerous, strongly septated (mostly barrel-shaped pores in the septum).
  • Unicellular, multiform blastoconidia.

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  1. Chang SE et al (2003) A case of Trichosporon cutaneum folliculitis and septicaemia. Clin Exp Dermatol 28: 37-38
  2. Gokahmetoglu S et al (2002) Case reports. Isolation of two Trichosporon cutaneum strains from urine. Mycoses 45: 132-134
  3. Mayser P et al (1996) Fungi of the Trichosporon genus. Identification, epidemiology and significance of dermatologic disease pictures. Dermatologist 47: 913-920
  4. Nakagawa T et al (2000) Trichosporon cutaneum (Trichosporon asahii) infection mimicking hand eczema in a patient with leukemia. J Am Acad Dermatol 42: 929-931


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Last updated on: 29.10.2020