The main difference between dermatophytes and non-dermatophytes is that dermatophytes colonize the outer layer of the skin, whereas non-dermatophytes come from the body.
Key Areas Covered
1. What are Dermatophytes
– Definition, Features, Importance
2. What are Non-Dermatophytes
– Definition, Features, Importance
3. Dermatophytes and Non-dermatophytes
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Dermatophytes and Non-dermatophytes
– Comparison of Key Differences
What are Dermatophytes
Dermatophytes are a group of fungi that belong to the family Arthrodermataceae, commonly causing skin diseases in humans and animals. The three genera of dermatophytes include Microsporum, Epidermophyton, and Trichophyton. Around 40 species of dermatophytes occur in these genera. Moreover, dermatophytes are anamorphic fungi that reproduce asexually. The main feature of dermatophytes is that they cause skin, nails, hair, and feathers infections. They obtain nutrients from keratin in the skin and other structures of the body. This causes inflammation in the body.
The host responds to the metabolic byproducts of dermatophytes and causes inflammation. When dermatophytes colonize the skin, they only occur in the non-living, confined layer of the epidermis. These fungi are capable of penetrating viable tissue in hosts that are immunocompetent. Moreover, the response of the host can be mild to severe. Virulence factors include proteases, elastase, keratinase, and other proteinases. On the other hand, the products of the degradation of enzymes are nutrient sources for dermatophytes.
What are Non-dermatophytes
Non-dermatophytes are the fungi that live in the skin that do not cause skin infections. They belong to the normal microbiota of the skin. They may also inhabit the soil and plant debris.
Although dermatophytes use keratin as a nutrient source to cause infections, non-dermatophytes do not use keratin as their nutrient source. Generally, they use sugars to feed on. Therefore, non-dermatophytes do not cause infections in the skin, nails, or hair, unlike dermatophytes.
Dermatophytes and Non-dermatophytes
- Dermatophytes and non-dermatophytes are two types of fungi that occur in the skin, nails, and hair.
- They can be pathogenic.
Difference Between Dermatophytes and Non-dermatophytes
Dermatophytes refer to a pathogenic fungus that grows on the skin, mucous membranes, hair, nails, feathers, and other body surfaces, causing ringworm and related diseases, while non-dermatophytes refer to the fungi that come from the body.
Dermatophytes cause skin, nails, and hair infections, while non-dermatophytes live in soil or decaying organic matter.
Types of infections
Dermatophytes cause Athlete’s foot, onychomycosis, and Tinea unguium, but non-dermatophytes can be pathogenic.
Proteases, elastase, keratinase, and other proteinases serve as virulence factors, while non-dermatophytes do not produce virulence factors.
Dermatophytes use keratin as a nutrient source, whereas non-dermatophytes use other nutrient sources than keratin.
Dermatophytes include Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton, while non-dermatophytes include Scopulariopsis, Fusarium, and Aspergillus.
In brief, dermatophytes and non-dermatophytes are two types of fungi that occur on the skin, nails, and hair. Dermatophytes are pathogenic fungi that grow on the skin. The main feature of dermatophytes is their use of keratin in the skin as their source of nutrients. Therefore, they cause fungal infections in the skin, nails, hair, and mucous membranes. Athlete’s foot, onychomycosis, and Tinea unguium are the types of infections caused by dermatophytes. In comparison, non-dermatophytes are fungi that live in the body as skin microbiota. Their most notable feature is that they do not cause infections in the skin. Therefore, the main difference between dermatophytes and non-dermatophytes is their pathogenicity.
- Khaled JM, Golah HA, Khalel AS, Alharbi NS, Mothana RA. Dermatophyte and non dermatophyte fungi in Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia. Saudi J Biol Sci. 2015 Sep;22(5):604-9. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2014.12.006. Epub 2015 Jan 5. PMID: 26288566; PMCID: PMC4537868
- RC;, G. A. J. R. (n.d.). Non-dermatophyte onychomycosis. Dermatologic clinics. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12757248/
- “Ringworm on the arm, or tinea corporis due to Trichophyton mentagrophytes PHIL 2938 lores” By CDC – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
- “Aspergillus flavus” By Medmyco – Own Work (CC-BY SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia