Tinea capitis in Cleveland: Survey of elementary school students

Academic Article


  • Background: Tinea capitis, a fungal infection of the scalp, is of increasing public health importance, and Trichophyton tonsurans has become the primary causative agent in North America. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of dermatophyte-positive scalp cultures among elementaryschoolchildren in Cleveland, Ohio, describe predisposing factors, and measure the antifungal susceptibility of isolates collected. Observations: A total of 937 children from 8 Cleveland elementary schools were cultured for the presence of dermatophytes; 122 children (13%), all of whom were African American, had dermatophyte-positive cultures of the scalp. Sixty percent of cases were asymptomatic, indicating a carrier state. Race, scaling, and the use of antidandruff shampoo were associated with increased likelihood of infection. T tonsurans was the only organism isolated (except 1 Microsporum canis isolate). All isolates were susceptible to fluconazole, griseofulvin, itraconazole, and terbinafine. Conclusions: T tonsurans was the predominant dermatophyte isolated. Further multicenter studies are needed to confirm the predominance of dermatophyte-positive scalp cultures among African American children and to determine modifiable and preventable risk factors.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ghannoum MA; Isham N; Hajjeh R; Cano M; Al-Hasawi F; Yearick D; Warner J; Long L; Jessup C; Elewski B
  • Start Page

  • 189
  • End Page

  • 193
  • Volume

  • 48
  • Issue

  • 2 SUPPL.