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Rev Iberoam Micol. 2005 Mar;22(1):34-8.

Fungal infection of the feet in soccer players and non-athlete individuals.

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Mycology Laboratory, Federal University of ParanĂ¡, Brazil.


This study was conducted to evaluate the occurrence of mycoses affecting the feet of soccer players and to compare this results with those in non-athlete individuals of the same age and sex. Initial evaluation consisted of a dermatological examination of the foot in 22 Chinese athletes, 83 Brazilian athletes and 24 Brazilian non-athletes. Scales of plantar skin, interdigital and subungual areas of the foot were collected for mycological examination (direct and culture). Nail clippings were obtained for histopathologic analysis. Tinea pedis was diagnosed more frequently among the non-athlete individuals. None of the Chinese athletes had tinea pedis alone. However, in this group onychomycosis was frequently higher when compared to the other groups. The fungal microbiota comprised Trichophyton rubrum (40%), Trichophyton mentagrophytes (36.4%) and Candida spp (20%). Candida spp was isolated only from Brazilian athletes. Results obtained with KOH wet mounts agreed with the results obtained in culture and with histopathologic examinations (50.5% vs 40.9%). The frequency of tinea pedis among soccer players was lower than the other groups in this study, possibly due to health education and professional feet care.

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