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Refractory Trichophyton rubrum Infection in Lamellar Ichthyosis

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Abstract

A 10-month-old boy with congenital lamellar ichthyosis presented with a chronic Trichophyton rubrum infection. There was no history of atopy or immunosuppression, and examination revealed high total immunoglobulin E (IgE) with a positive specific IgE for T. rubrum. Multiple treatments with fluconazole were necessary to control the infection. T. rubrum is present worldwide and is responsible for the vast majority of chronic dermatophytosis. Lamellar ichthyosis is a risk factor for chronic dermatophytosis because of excessive keratin and the barrier defect. A delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction to T. rubrum is associated with cure, whereas immediate hypersensitivity and IgE are not protective and may lead to chronic infection. Atopy and the Th2 profile therefore seem to be associated with chronic dermatophytosis. The association between ichthyosis and atopy is well documented. T. rubrum also has an interesting ability to evade immunity, which helps explain the chronic infection. Finally, in ichthyosis, it is likely that fluconazole has difficulty penetrating the acanthotic stratum corneum, which explains treatment failure. We report this case to alert clinicians to the possible association between lamellar ichthyosis and chronic dermatophytosis and to report the difficulties of management.

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