Dermatophytes are fungi that can cause infections (known as tinea) of the skin, hair and nails because of their ability to use keratin. Superficial mycoses are probably the most prevalent of infectious diseases worldwide. One of the most distinct limitations of the current therapeutic options is the recurrence of the infection and duration of treatment. The present study shows that Trichophyton rubrum in suspension culture is susceptible to photodynamic treatment (PDT), a completely new application in this area. T. rubrum could be effectively killed with the use of the light-activated porphyrins deuteroporphyrin monomethylester (DP mme) and 5,10,15-tris(4-methylpyridinium)-20-phenyl-[21H,23H]-porphine trichloride (Sylsens B). The photodynamic efficacy was compared with that of some other photosensitizers that are well known in the field of PDT: the porphyrins deuteroporphyrin and hematoporphyrin, the drug Photofrin and several phthalocyanines. It was demonstrated that with the use of broadband white light, the phthalocyanines and Photofrin displayed a fungistatic effect for about 1 week, whereas all the porphyrins caused photodynamic killing of the dermatophyte. Sylsens B was the most effective sensitizer and showed no dark toxicity; therefore, in an appropriate formulation, it could be a promising candidate for the treatment of various forms of tinea. For Sylsens B and DP mme, which displayed the best results, a concentration-dependent uptake by T. rubrum was established.
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Vol. 77 • No. 5