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New Microbiol. 2012 Apr;35(2):207-13. Epub 2012 Mar 31.

Epidemiology of dermatophytoses: retrospective analysis from 2005 to 2010 and comparison with previous data from 1975.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Bari, Italy.


Dermatophyte infections are extremely frequent worldwide and their epidemiological features vary according to the geographical area and have changed in the last decades. We studied the spectrum of dermatophytoses by means of a retrospective analysis involving 6,133 patients referred to the Mycology Service of the Dermatology Clinic of Policlinico Hospital - University of Bari, Italy during the period 2005-2010. The most frequent clinical forms were tinea unguium (39.2% of the total dermatophytoses), tinea corporis (22.7%) and tinea pedis (20.4%). There was a predominance of women for tinea unguium and corporis and of men for tinea pedis and especially tinea cruris. T. rubrum was the prevalent causative agent, implicated in 64% of total cases, followed by M. canis (14%) and T. mentagrophytes (10%). The retrospective evaluation of epidemiological data collected at our Clinic since 1975 showed a gradual decrease in the frequency of tinea cruris, tinea corporis, and tinea capitis over time. On the contrary, during the past two decades, there has been a progressive increase in the frequency of tinea pedis and especially of tinea unguium. In parallel with this changing pattern, the frequency of isolation of T. rubrum has shown a continuous increase during the last 35 years, whereas a progressive decline of the etiological role of T. violaceum, M. canis and even more of E. floccosum has been noted.

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