Background/aims Dermatophytes are keratinophilic fungi responsible for skin, nail and scalp infections. Over the past few years, a rising incidence of dermatophytoses has been reported, particularly due to infected migrants coming from developing countries. In this study, we studied dermatophytes’ prevalence in a cohort of international adopted children.
Methods This retrospective study has been carried out in the Parasitology – Mycology clinic of La Croix Rousse University Hospital in Lyon, France from 1998 to 2012. Biological samples of scalp or hair have been analysed according to standard mycological procedures.
Results In total 101 children coming from Africa, and the Caribbean were sampled. 44 children had dermatophytosis (44/101, 43.6%) eg Trichophyton soudanense, Trichophyton violaceum, Trichopyton tonsurans, Trichophyton rubrum and Microsporum audouinii. The clinical presentation of these patients was variable, including squamous scalp lesions without alopecia (n = 20), scalp alopecia-causing lesions (n = 6), squamous lesions scalp associated with tinea corporis (n = 5), tinea corporis (n = 4) and crusty scalp lesions (n = 1). In seven cases we reported completely asymptomatic patients (15.9%, 7/44). Systematic examination of their families led to the discovery of nine cases (20.5%, 9/44) of family contamination. The therapeutic success rate was close to 80% following first line of treatment.
Conclusion We demonstrated that dermatophytoses often have a silent clinical presentation and, in approximately 20% of cases, cause family contamination. This study highlights the importance of the clinical examination of children and families, as well as systematic sampling of children, to avoid dermatophyte transmission to other family members.