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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 Apr;54(4):622-6. Epub 2006 Feb 7.

A nationwide survey of Trichophyton tonsurans infection among combat sport club members in Japan using a questionnaire form and the hairbrush method.

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Department of Dermatology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.



The emerging outbreak of Trichophyton tonsurans infection among members of combat sports clubs in Japan during the last 4 years has become a serious public health problem. To overcome this outbreak, a survey for T. tonsurans infection in Japan may be essential.


We sought to clarify the prevalence of T. tonsurans infection among members of combat sports clubs in Japan.


We conducted a survey of members of participating combat sports clubs using a standardized questionnaire to assess background factors and using the hairbrush method to identify T. tonsurans infection. Statistical significance of the correlation between data from the questionnaire and the hairbrush culture results was determined.


We surveyed 1000 people (826 male) from 49 institutions and found 115 (11.5%) were positive for T. tonsurans infection revealed by the hairbrush method. Demographic factors associated with high positive rates (> or =20%) of the infection were familial T. tonsurans infection (20.0%), history of tinea corporis (24.2%), increased dandruff (32.1%), and concomitant tinea corporis (31.6%). Those with positive hairbrush culture results without current or previous tinea were considered asymptomatic carriers.


The study population was limited to members of judo clubs all over Japan; they were asked to participate in this survey via the All Japan Judo Federation.


Infection of T. tonsurans appears to have spread widely among members of combat sports club in Japan. The questionnaire used in this study is a simple and useful tool to estimate epidemiology of this infection.

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