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Clin Exp Dermatol. 2006 Mar;31(2):212-4.

An experience from an outbreak of tinea capitis gladiatorum due to Trichophyton tonsurans.

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Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey.


'Tinea corporis gladiatorum' describes a dermatophytosis transmitted mainly from close skin contact among wrestlers. Although tinea corporis is well recognized, no data are available for tinea capitis infections in wrestlers. After finding tinea capitis infection in a student wrestler, we aimed to search for possible ringworm infections among wrestlers in a wrestling boarding-school. Of the 32 wrestlers, 29, aged 12-18 years, were affected, of whom 22 had scalp involvement. Trichophyton tonsurans was isolated from 20 of the patients, and T. mentagrophytes from the remaining two. Isolated strains of dermatophytes were susceptible to terbinafine and itraconazole. The patients with tinea capitis received oral terbinafine for 4 weeks, and patients with more than two lesions but without scalp involvement received oral terbinafine for 2 weeks. Overall clinical and mycological cure rate was 72.4% and 70%, respectively, at assessment at week 6. The asymptomatic dermatophyte carrier rate was negative 1 year after control of the epidemic. Terbinafine seems to be an alternative drug for the treatment of tinea capitis caused by T. tonsurans; however, control of an outbreak may be very difficult and effective preventive measures should be considered.

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