• antifungal combination;
  • fractional inhibitory concentration index;
  • Trichophyton mentagrophytes;
  • Trichophyton rubrum


To investigate the antifungal drug susceptibility of fungi responsible for dermatomycoses, minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) tests were performed in 44 strains of dermatophytes, including Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Trichophyton verrucosum, Trichophyton tonsurans, Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum and Epidermophyton floccosum, with six antifungal drugs (amorolfine, terbinafine, butenafine, ketoconazole, itraconazole and bifonazole) by broth microdilution assay according to Clinical Laboratory Standard Institute protocols. Six possible dermatomycosis-causing non-dermatophytic fungi were also tested. The two major causes of tinea, T. rubrum and T. mentagrophytes, showed significantly different sensitivities to ketoconazole and bifonazole. Clinically derived dermatophytes were sensitive to the six antifungal drugs tested. However, non-dermatophytes, especially Fusarium spp., tended to be resistant to these antifungal drugs. In Trichophyton spp., the MICs of non-azole drugs had narrower distributions than those of azoles. To evaluate the effects of antifungal drug combinations, the fractional inhibitory concentration index was calculated for the combination of amorolfine and itraconazole as representative external and internal drugs for dermatophytes. It was found that this combination had synergistic or additive effects on most dermatophytes, and had no antagonistic effects. The variation in susceptibility of clinically derived fungal isolates indicates that identification of causative fungi is indispensable for appropriately choosing effective antifungal drugs in the early stages of infection. The results of combination assay suggest that multiple drugs with different antifungal mechanisms against growth of dermatophytes should be used to treat refractory dermatomycoses, especially onychomycosis.