Author(s): Figueroa JI, Hawranek T, Abraha A, Hay RJ
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Tinea capitis is a common dermatophyte infection which constitutes an important public health problem among children worldwide. The endemic nature of scalp ringworm in Africa is perpetuated mainly by the lack of knowledge about the prevalence and carrier status, and the absence of control measures. METHODS: Two hundred and nineteen schoolchildren from urban and rural communities of the Illubabor district, south-western Ethiopia, were examined, and scalp samples were taken. Children were classified according to clinical signs and mycologic findings. RESULTS: Physical examination revealed that 29\% of the children had clinical lesions compatible with tinea capitis. Dermatophytes were isolated from 33\% of the children's scalp samples; of these, 16\% had clinical lesions and 17\% were identified as carriers. Trichophyton violaceum was responsible for 97\% of infections. CONCLUSIONS: Tinea capitis was the second most prevalent cutaneous finding in these children, with a higher prevalence in the urban community; the predictive value of the clinical diagnosis was low and a high proportion of children were identified as carriers in these communities. No relationship between household overcrowding and scalp infection was found.
This article was published in Int J Dermatol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research