, Volume 85, Issue 1–2, pp 97–120 | Cite as

A survey of dermatophytes isolated from human patients in the United States from 1979 to 1981 with chronological listings of worldwide incidence of five dermatophytes often isolated in the United States

  • James T. Sinski
  • Katherine Flouras


A survey of dermatophytes isolated from patients seeking medical advice was made from 1979 to 1981 in the United States. The survey included 54 locations with data from 40 cities and 2 states. Correlations of these data with that of the other localities of the world were made to illustrate the dynamic epidemiology of several common dermatophytes. The most often isolated dermatophyte in this survey was Trichophyton rubrum having 53.66% of the total for these three calendar years. In a chronological listing of ringworm infections caused by this organism, many areas of the world have reported similar increased incidence of this pathogen. Trichophyton tonsurans was isolated 27.85% of the total. A dramatic increase of this pathogen as a cause of tinea capitis has been observed in most cities of the United States. It has been isolated in 25 different countries of the world. The percentage of isolation of Trichophyton mentagrophytes was 8.56%. This percentage may not be near the true incidence of infection by this dermatophyte because the infections are mild and respond to treatment without the individual seeking medical advice. Since the 1950s the percentage of isolations of the total has dropped for T. mentagrophytes in the United States. Epidermophyton floccosum accounted for 4.36% of the total. In a few areas of the world it causes over 30% of the total of dermatophytoses. Microsporum canis was isolated 3.72% of the total in the United States. It has recently been reported to be the dominant agent of tinea capitis in several South American countries, Tucson, Arizona and Kuwait. Once the dominant pathogen of tinea capitis in children in the United States, it was replaced by Microsporum audouinii before 1960. Today in the United States, M. audouinii only accounts for 0.30% of the total. It is considered eliminated as a pathogen in England. In this survey, isolated less than 1.0% of the total were Microsporum gypseum, Microsporum ferrugineum, Microsporum nanum, Microsporum fulvum and Trichophyton schoenleinii. Trichophyton meginii and Trichophyton terrestre were reported isolated but no numerical data were available.


United States Kuwait Dermatophytosis Tinea Capitis South American Country 
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© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • James T. Sinski
    • 1
    • 2
  • Katherine Flouras
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Molecular and Medical Microbiology, College of MedicineUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, College of Arts and SciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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