Physiological characterization and molecular identification of some rare yeast species causing onychomycosis

Alexandra M Montoya, Carolina E Luna-Rodríguez, Alexandro Bonifaz, Rogelio de J Treviño-Rangel, Olga C Rojas, Gloria M González

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Onychomycosis are infections with a variety of etiological agents. Although dermatophytes are responsible for most infections, yeasts are gaining importance as agents of these pathologies. The use of antifungals has increased the incidence of what had been considered rare or novel pathogens. We reidentify three rare yeasts from a culture collection of onychomycosis agents by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight/mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/MS) and sequencing the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions or the intergenic spacer (IGS) 1 region of ribosomal DNA (rDNA), and present their enzymatic and antifungal susceptibility profiles. Material and methods: We performed a phenotypical characterization and molecular identification of five yeast isolates. We tested the urease, gelatinase, DNase, phospholipase, protease, and esterase activities, as well as the hemolytic activity. We evaluated the antifungal susceptibility to amphotericin B, fluconazole, anidulafungin and caspofungin. Results: Phenotypic methods could not identify the isolates. MALDI-TOF/MS was able to properly identify Candida duobushameulonii. The five isolates were successfully identified by sequence analysis as Candida duobushaemulonii, Meyerozyma caribbica and Cutaneotrichosporon dermatis. Candida duobushameulonii showed hemolytic, phospholipase, and protease activities. Meyerozyma caribbica was positive for gelatinase and protease activities. All antifungals exhibited minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) ≤ 2 μg/mL against both species. The three isolates of Cutaneotrichosporon dermatis showed urease, DNase, and esterase activities, and resistance to echinocandins (MICs ≥ 8 μg/mL), while amphotericin B and fluconazole exhibited low MICs against these isolates (0.50–2 μg/mL). Discussion: Sequencing of the ITS or IGS1 regions of rDNA remains the best method for identifying cryptic species over other commercially available systems. More reports are needed to define the enzymatic and antifungal profiles for these species. This is the first report of Meyerozyma caribbica and Cutaneotrichosporon dermatis as etiological agents of onychomycosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101121
JournalJournal of Medical Mycology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Sergio Lozano-Rodriguez, M. D., of the “Dr. José E. González” University Hospital for his review of the manuscript prior to submission. This study was supported by the Department of Microbiology, UANL School of Medicine.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Masson SAS


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