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Print version ISSN 0123-9392


ZULUAGA, Alejandra et al. Epidemiology of tinea capitis: A 19 years' experience in a Colombian, specialized clinical laboratory. Infect. [online]. 2016, vol.20, n.4, pp.225-230. ISSN 0123-9392.


There are few written reports on the epidemiology of tinea capitis in Colombia.


To undertake a retrospective study (1994-2013) aimed at describing the behavior of this mycosis and its etiological agents, using a series of patients referred to a specialized diagnostic center in Medellin, Colombia.


This is a retrospective study in which the records were analysed of patients from 1994-2013, who were referred for mycological studies (direct examination and culture) to the Medical and Experimental Mycology Unit of the Corporación para Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB) with the clinical suspicion of tinea capitis.


In this period, 415 patients with clinical suspicion of tinea capitis were reported, of which 133 cases were confirmed by the laboratory (32%); most patients 124 (93%) were children, mostly boys 89 (67%). In terms of associated risk factors there was information from 52 confirmed cases, of which 39 (75%) had contact with animals. Direct examination was positive in 87% and fungal culture in 92% of confirmed cases; the etiologic agent most isolated was Microsporum canis (86%), followed by Microsporum gypseum (4%), Trichophyton tonsurans (3%), Trichophyton mentagrophytes (3%), Microsporum audouinii (3%) and Microsporum spp. (1%).


Our results represent an important casuistry for the epidemiology of tinea capitis in Colombia. In the absence of more extensive studies on geographic coverage and population characteristics that reveal the true incidence of this mycosis in our country, these data should be considered a valuable contribution to the understanding of the most frequent etiologic agents of tinea capitis in Colombia.

Keywords : Tinea capitis; Microsporum; Trichophyton; Child; Scalp.

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