Microsporum audouinii is an anthropophilic dermatophyte causing non-inflammatory infections of the scalp and skin. Once the cause of tinea capitis epidemics in Europe and North America, it is now endemic to regions of Africa and Eastern Europe. As a result of this, and with an increase in immigration from African countries, there has been a significant increase in Microsporum audouinii infections in Australia.
In tinea capitis infections, invaded hairs show an ectothrix invasion and fluoresce a bright greenish-yellow under Wood’s ultra-violet light. Identification of this isolate however is difficult due to poor growth and lack of sporulation. Therefore, many isolates are misidentified as non-sporulating strains of Microsporum canis. Confirmed identification of these isolates can be made with DNA sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region.
The increased emergence of Microsporum audouinii in Australia highlights the importance of detection and treatment in order to prevent possible future outbreaks.