European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 244–247 | Cite as

Incidence of occult athlete's foot in swimmers

  • A. Attye
  • P. Auger
  • J. Joly


Athlete's foot is a dermatophytic infection frequently found in adults. This disease is, in some cases, asymptomatic. In order to evaluate the incidence of subelinical infection, we obtained 300 toe-web samples from the fourth interdigital space of 150 regular swimmers. More over, 66 specimens from the pool area were analysed. The method used was the carpet technique described by Mariat et al. (10). The fungal isolates were identified according to standard methods. A list of epidemiological data was completed for every swimmer.

In our results, 22 swimmers had positive cultures (15%), 8 of these cases had no lesions (36%). They included 7 infections with Trichophyton mentagrophytes (87.5%) and one with T. rubrum (12.5%). We observed one case with a dual infection. Only one sample from the inanimate environment was positive. This study showed a significant incidence of occult athlete's foot in swimmers. To control this endemic problem, adequate preventive measures must be taken.

Key words

Athlete's foot Swimmers Trichophyton mentagrophytes Trichophyton rubrum Tinea pedis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    AjelloL. and GetzME (1954): Recovery of dermatophytes from shoes and shower stalls. - J. Invest. Dermatol. 22: 17–21.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    BaerR.L., RosenthalS.A. and FurnariD. (1955): Survival of dermatophytes applied on the feet. - J. Invest. Dermatol. 24: 619–622.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    EnglishM.P. (1969): Tinea pedis as a public health problem. - Brit. J. Dermatol. 81: 705–707.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    EnglishM.P. and GibsonM.D. (1959): Studies in the epidemiology of tinea pedis: dermatophytes on the floors of swimming-baths. - Brit. Med. J. 1: 1446–1448.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    EnglishM.P. and GibsonM.D. (1959): Studies in the epidemiology of tinea pedis. 1. Tinea pedis in school children. - Brit. Med. J. 1: 1442–1446.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    EnglishM.P. and TurveyJ. (1968): Studies in the epidemiology of tinea pedis. IX. Tinea pedis and erythrasma in new patients at a chiropody clinic. -Brit. Med. J. 4: 228–230.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    GentlesJ.C. (1956): The isolation of dermatophytes from the floors of communal bathing places. - J. Clin. Pathol. 9: 374–377.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    GentlesJ.C. and EvansE.G.V. (1973): Foot infections in swimming baths. - Brit. Med. J. 3: 260–262.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    GeorgL.K. (1960): Epidemiologyof the dermatophytoses sources of infection: modes of transmission and epidemicity. - Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 89: 69–77.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    MariatF. and Adan CamposC. (1967): La technique du carré de tapis, méthode simple de pré1èvement dans les mycoses superficielles. - Ann. Inst. Past. 113: 666–669.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    PadhyeA.A. and CarmichaelJ.W. (1970): Urease test for typing plus and minus strains of Arthroderma benhamiae. - Bact. Proc., MMII: 120.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    RipponJ.W. (1982): Medical Mycology: the pathogenic fungi and the pathogenic actinomycetes. 2nd edition, W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, 154–241.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Spring D. (1933): A note on the effect of chlorinated swimming-pool water on fungi of toe ringworm. -Am. J. Med. Sci. 185: 775–777.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Attye
    • 1
  • P. Auger
    • 1
  • J. Joly
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of MontrealMontreal, QuebecCanada

Personalised recommendations