ABSTRACT: The occurrence of the anthropophilic dermatophyte Trichophyton tonsurans as a frequent causative agent of tinea capitis in several developed countries has been associated with a global rise in its isolation during recent years. While T. tonsurans was never found in Haiti before 1988, a sharp increase in the number of isolates of this species from scalp lesions began to be observed in 2005 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A prospective study was conducted in Port-au-Prince from May to November 2006 of 64 children presenting with tinea capitis at the dermatological outpatient clinic of the university hospital. Forty-five (70%) were male and 19 female (30%), with an average age at presentation of 6.1 years (age range 1-16 years). Direct microscopic examination of scalp hair using 10% potassium hydroxide was positive in 93.8% and culture confirmation was established in 55 cases (85.9%). Five species of dermatophytes were identified, with the anthropophilic dermatophyte T. tonsurans, accounting for the majority or 35 (63.6%) of all cases of tinea capitis. Other dermatophyte species identified included T. mentagrophytes (14.5%), Microsporum audouinii (12.7%), T. rubrum (7.3%) and in one case, the geophilic M. gypseum (1.8%). In two cases caused by T. tonsurans skin involvement on other areas of the body was recorded. The most frequent pathogen in tinea capitis is now T. tonsurans in Port-au-Prince. We speculate that the recent emergence of T. tonsurans in Haiti is linked to the dramatically increasing mobility of Haitian Diaspora.
Medical Mycology 08/2008; 47(2):197-200. · 2.46 Impact Factor