The unprecedented epidemic-like scenario of dermatophytosis in India: III. Antifungal resistance and treatment options

Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2021 [SEASON];87(4):468-482. doi: 10.25259/IJDVL_303_20.


One of the canonical features of the current outbreak of dermatophytosis in India is its unresponsiveness to treatment in majority of cases. Though there appears to be discordance between in vivo and in vitro resistance, demonstration of in vitro resistance of dermatophytes to antifungals by antifungal susceptibility testing is essential as it may help in appropriate management. The practical problem in the interpretation of antifungal susceptibility testing is the absence of clinical breakpoints and epidemiologic cutoff values. In their absence, evaluation of the upper limit of a minimal inhibitory concentration of wild type isolates may be beneficial for managing dermatophytosis and monitoring the emergence of isolates with reduced susceptibility. In the current scenario, most of the cases are unresponsive to standard dosages and duration of treatment recommended until now. This has resulted in many ex-cathedra modalities of treatment that are being pursued without any evidence. There is an urgent need to carry out methodical research to develop an evidence base to formulate a rational management approach in the current scenario.

Keywords: Antifungal agents; antifungal susceptibility testing; clinical breakpoints; epidemiologic cutoff values; the upper limit of minimal inhibitory concentration of wild type isolates.

Publication types

  • Review