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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2005 Apr;100(2):131-5.

Onychomycosis in Ceará (Northeast Brazil): epidemiological and laboratory aspects.

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Faculdade de Veterinária, Pós-graduação em Ciências Veterinárias, Universidade Federal do Ceará Rua Monsenhor Furtado, s/n, 60430-350, Fortaleza, CE, Brasil.


Knowledge of epidemiological and mycological characteristics of onychomycosis has been noted by many authors as being an important tool for control of these fungal infections. This study seeks to improve knowledge of onychomycosis epidemiology and mycological features. Samples were taken from infected fingernails and toenails of 976 patients undergoing treatment at a respected Dermatology Center in Ceará, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil. Specimens from 512 patients (52%) were positive for onychomycosis. From the culture-positive samples, yeasts of the genus Candida (C. albicans, C. tropicalis, C. krusei, C. parapsilosis) were dominant. The dermatophytes isolated (Trichophyton rubrum, T. tonsurans, T. mentagrophytes var. mentagrophytes) were dominant in 46 patients (12.99%). The mould Fusarium spp. was isolated from 29 patients (8.19%). Yeast of the genus Candida is the main causal factor in onychomycosis in our region. Also, the study showed the importance of performing direct examination and culture in diagnosis of onychomycosis.

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