Inhibition of dermatophytes by the antimicrobial peptides human β-defensin-2, ribonuclease 7 and psoriasin.Med Mycol. 2012 Aug; 50(6):579-84.MM
Previous studies have described some antibacterial effects of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) expressed in human skin, but little is known about their possible activity against dermatophytes. Therefore we have tested the effects of human β-defensin 2 (hBD-2), ribonuclease 7 (RNase 7) and psoriasin on the in vitro growth of four dermatophyte species. Germinating conidia of Trichophyton rubrum, T. mentagrophytes, Microsporum canis and Epidermophyton floccosum were exposed in vitro to hBD-2, RNase 7, psoriasin and fluconazole. Subsequent fungal growth was measured photometrically over 168 hours. All AMPs significantly inhibited fungal growth, with the degree of inhibition dependent on the dermatophyte species and the specific AMP. E. floccosum was found to be the most susceptible species in that it was markedly suppressed by all AMPs, whereas M. canis was inhibited only by psoriasin. Overall, psoriasin was the most effective AMP and had even stronger inhibitory effects on some dermatophytes than fluconazole. Our findings show that AMPs expressed in human skin can, in principal, inhibit the growth of dermatophytes in vitro. Therefore the question whether AMPs are relevant for human protection against tineas is justified and should be addressed by investigating their role in vivo.