Epidemiology of tinea capitis in northeast Iran: a retrospective analysis from 1998 to 2012

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BackgroundTinea capitis is a common disease of the pediatric population. This disease typically follows one of several clinical patterns, i.e., scaling, hair loss, and/or inflammatory lesions, which are usually caused predominantly by two dermatophytic genera: Microsporum and Trichophyton. The aim of this study was to investigate tinea capitis and its etiological agents in Sari city of Mazandaran province, Iran.MethodsWe studied the spectrum of tinea capitis by means of a retrospective analysis involving 1745 patients referred to both the Reference Laboratory of Medical Mycology (RLMM) and Bo Ali Sina Hospital at Sari, Iran (1998–2012). Specimens were assessed by standard mycological techniques based on macroscopic and microscopic morphology.ResultsAmong the patients, 480 (27.5%; 61 males and 39% females) were confirmed through a mycological examination. The peak incidence was in the 5–14 years age group. Endothrix (263 cases; 54.8%) was the most frequent clinical feature by direct exam. The predominant causative agents of tinea capitis were T. tonsurans (186 cases; 38.8%) and T. violaceum (119 cases; 24.8%), followed by T. mentagrophytes (46 cases; 9.6%), T. schoenleinii (28; 5.8%), T. rubrum (20 cases; 4.2%), M. gypseum (15 cases; 3.1%), T. verrucosum (14 cases; 2.9%), and Epidermophyton floccosum (1 cases; 0.2%).ConclusionThe present study showed that tinea capitis is mainly due to the anthropophilic species, and the most common species were T. tonsurans and T. violaceum. Owing to the high frequency of anthropophilic species, future studies may be useful in the development of preventive and educational strategies to reduce healthcare expenditure.

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