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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 74, n° 6
pages 1241-1246 (juin 2016)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jaad.2016.01.008
accepted : 6 January 2016

The role of biofilms in onychomycosis

Aditya K. Gupta, MD, PhD, FRCP(C) a, b, , Deanne Daigle, MSc b, Jessie L. Carviel, PhD b
a Department of Medicine, University of Toronto School of Medicine, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 
b Mediprobe Research Inc, London, Ontario, Canada 

Reprint requests: Aditya K. Gupta, MD, PhD, FRCP(C), Mediprobe Research Inc, 645 Windermere Rd, London, Ontario, Canada N5X 2P1.Mediprobe Research Inc645 Windermere RdLondonOntarioN5X 2P1Canada

Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of nails primarily caused by dermatophyte fungi. Fungi are traditionally understood as existing in the environment as planktonic organisms; however, recent advancements in microbiology suggest that fungi form biofilms–complex sessile microbial communities irreversibly attached to epithelial surfaces by means of an extracellular matrix. The extracellular matrix also acts as a protective barrier to the organisms within the biofilm. The biofilm is surprisingly resistant to injury and may act as a persistent source of infection possibly accounting for antifungal resistance in onychomycosis.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Key words : antifungal, biofilm, dermatophyte fungi, extracellular matrix, nail, onychomycosis

 Funding sources: None.
 Disclosure: Dr Gupta has been a consultant for Anacor, Sandoz, and Moberg Pharma; been a clinical trials investigator for Valeant Canada, Nuvolase, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Merck, Novartis, Janssen, and Allergan; and served as a speaker for Valeant Canada, Janssen, Novartis, and Bayer. Ms Daigle and Dr Carviel are previous and present employees of Mediprobe Research Inc, which conducted the above trials.

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