Author(s): Gugnani HC, Sharma S, Gupta B, Gaddam S
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: Information on the prevalence of keratinophilic fungi in West Indies is scanty. Occurrence of keratinophilic fungi in soils of St. Kitts and Nevis has not been investigated previously. METHODOLOGY: The prevalence of keratinophilic fungi was investigated in 108 samples of soils of varying habitats from St. Kitts and 55 such samples from Nevis by hair-baiting technique. Fungal growths appearing on the hair baits after four to eight weeks of incubation at room temperature were microscopically examined and cultured on mycological media. Cultures were identified on the basis of colonial and microscopic features. RESULTS: Forty-nine (45\%) of the samples from St. Kitts and 38 (69\%) from Nevis were positive for keratinophilic fungi. Microsporum gypseum complex, a well-known geophilic dermatophyte, was the most frequently recovered species being present in 15.7\% of soils of St. Kitts and 40\% of soils of Nevis. The next commonest species recovered was Chrysosporium indicum, represented by 15 (13.9\%) isolates from St. Kitts and seven (12.7\%) isolates from Nevis. Other infrequently isolated keratinophilic species included Chrysosporium tropicum, Chrysosporium keratinophilum, and unidentified Chrysosporium species. CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first of its kind in the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. A high incidence of M. gypseum complex in the soil of these islands is a noteworthy finding of public health significance.
This article was published in J Infect Dev Ctries
and referenced in Virology & Mycology