Inactivation of dermatophytes and treatment of onychomycosis using non-thermal plasma
Onychomycosis is the most common nail disorder. Current treatment of this infection does not achieve ideal results in the efficacy and has the potential for adverse effects. The aim of this study was to determine the optimal conditions of Non-Thermal Plasma (NTP) exposure required to inactivate the most common dermatophytes in vitro and to apply it for patients healing. NTP was applied to a group of 40 patients with onychomycosis, partially in combination with Nail Plate Abrasion and Refreshment (NPAR) or antimycotics. Cohort included 17 patients of NPAR in combination with NTP, 11 with antimycotics and NTP, and 12 with NPAR only. The exposure of dermatophytes to NTP produced by negative DC corona discharge caused the efficient inactivation of Trichophyton spp. in its early growth phases. The NTP exposure directly after inoculation leads to full inactivation of Trichophyton and decreases up to negligible effect for exposure after 6 days after inoculation. For patients, the combination of NPAR and NTP leads to the positive effect for more than 70 % of patients and the synergistic effect of NPAR and NTP has 85,7 % improvement of mycological cure to the affected nail plate. We conclude that NTP brings many benefits to the current therapy of nail onychomycosis.