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Mycoses. 2011 May;54(3):248-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0507.2009.01809.x.

A clinico-epidemiological study on tinea gladiatorum in Iranian wrestlers and mat contamination by dermatophytes.

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Medical Parasitology and Mycology Department, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Qazvin, Iran.


Dermatophytosis is still being considered as one of the major public health problems in wrestlers.


To identify the prevalence, clinical pattern, aetiological agents and the predominant transmission route of dermatophytoses in Iranian wrestlers, a study was carried out in 2008. In total, 270 wrestlers from eight wrestling salons were evaluated. Classical mycological techniques were performed on 135 skin scraping samples of 110 wrestlers suspicious for dermatophytoses and 240 touch preparation samples of wrestling mats. Diagnosis of the fungus type was made based on macroscopical and microscopical characteristics of the colonies. 19.2% of the evaluated wrestlers were inflicted with tinea gladiatorum. The head and neck were the most prevalent (36.5%) areas of involvement, followed by arms and forearms (28.8%), trunk (21.2%), as well as groin and knee (13.5%). The mean age of patients was 21 years and the most frequent age group was 10-19 years (51.9%). Trichophyton tonsurans was the most frequently isolated species representing 82.7% of isolates, followed by T. rubrum (5.8%), T. mentagrophytes var. interdigitale and Epidermophyton floccosum (3.8% each), and T. mentagrophytes var. mentagrophytes and T. verrucosum (1.9% each). Of 24 wrestling mats surveyed, 33.3% were heavily contaminated with T. tonsurans. Tinea gladiatorum in Iran is a common phenomenon among wrestlers, transmission pattern of which appears to be through man-to-man and mat-to-man contact. Furthermore, the clinical features of the disease are not consistent with those of the general population of Iran.

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