Epidemiological survey of dermatophytosis in Tehran, Iran, from 2000 to 2005

Shahindokht Bassiri-Jahromi, Ali Asghar Khaksari
Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology 2009, 75 (2): 142-7

BACKGROUND: Cutaneous fungal infections are common in Tehran, Iran, and causative organisms include dermatophytes, yeasts and non-dermatophyte molds. The prevalence of superficial mycosis infections has risen to such a level that skin mycoses now affect more than 20-25% of the world's population, making them the most frequent form of infection.

AIMS: Our aim was to determine the prevalence of superficial cutaneous fungal infections especially dermatophytosis in our Medical Mycology Laboratory in the Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran.

METHODS: A total of 17,573 specimens were collected from clinically suspected tinea corporis, tinea cruris, tinea capitis, tinea faciei, tinea pedis, tinea manuum and finger and toe onychomycosis from 2000 to 2005. Patients were referred to our laboratory for direct examination, fungal culture and identification. The incidence of each species was thus calculated.

RESULTS: Dermatophytes remain the most commonly isolated fungal organisms, except from clinically suspected finger onychomycosis, in which case Candida species comprise >7% of the isolates. Epidermophyton floccosum remains the most prevalent fungal pathogen and increased incidence of this species was observed in tinea cruris. Trichophyton tonsurans continues to increase in incidence.

CONCLUSION: This study identifies the epidemiologic trends and the predominant organisms causing dermatophytosis in Tehran, Iran. These data can be used to ascertain the past and present trends in incidence, predict the adequacy of our current pharmacologic repertoire and provide insight into future developments. Consideration of the current epidemiologic trends in the incidence of cutaneous fungal pathogens is of key importance to investigational effort, diagnosis and treatment.

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