Epidemiology of dermatophytoses in Sfax, Tunisia.
ABSTRACT The distribution of dermatophytes varies in different countries and geographical areas depending on several factors. To determine the frequency of aetiological agents and the clinical variants of dermatophytoses, we carried out a study between 1998 and 2007. Out of 25 432 subjects suspected to have superficial mycoses, 9960 (39.2%) were affected with dermatophytoses; 14957 positive samples were obtained. The mean age was 35.7 years (range: 21 days to 97 years). Sex ratio was 0.9. Our patients were from urban regions in 81.9% of cases. The most common type of infection was onychomycosis (30.3%), followed by tinea pedis (24.8%), intertrigo (21.7%), tinea corporis (11.4%) and tinea capitis (9.6%). Fifteen patients had generalised dermatophytosis. Hadida and Schousboe disease was diagnosed in one case with lethal evolution. The most isolated dermatophyte was Trichophyton rubrum (74.5%), followed by T. violaceum (7.9%), T. mentagrophytes (7.5%), Microsporum canis (3.8%), Epidermophyton floccosum (0.7%) and T. verrucosum (0.54%). Other species were occasionally isolated: T. schoenleinii, T. tonsurans, M. audouinii and M. ferrugineum. The prevalence of dermatophytoses remains high in our country (996 cases/year). Trichophyton rubrum is the predominant causal agent. However, zoophilic agents become more prevalent. Epidemiological surveys are an essential tool for developing strategies for infection control.