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Prevalence of tinea capitis in Southeastern Austria between 1985 and 2008: up-to-date picture of the current situation

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Tinea capitis is the most common dermatophyte infection in childhood, but may rarely occur in adults and the elderly. Causative agents vary within different geographical areas as well as during decades. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and causative agents of tinea capitis in Southeastern Austria. Retrospective analysis of 714 patients diagnosed with tinea capitis seen at the outpatient Department of Dermatology/Medical University of Graz during the time period 1985–2008 was carried out. A total of 517 of the 714 patients were children, 21 adults and in the case of 176 patients age was not available. Microsporum canis was found in 84.4%. Trichophyton soudanense tinea capitis is seen since 1998, Trichophyton tonsurans for the first time in 2008. Tinea capitis has become very important for the public health. Besides an increasing incidence, there is a change in age of the patients affected and with the pattern of causative agents as a result of immigration movements and lifestyle habits mainly influenced by domestic pets. Our situation reflects nearly the epidemiology of the bordering countries of Austria mainly in the Southeastern surroundings. These epidemiological changes are a challenge for general practitioners, dermatologists and veterinarians to work close together for advice on control, early diagnosing and adequate treatment.
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Keywords: Southeastern Austria; Tinea capitis; prevalence

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Dermatology and Venerology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria 2: Institute of Adaptive and Spaceflight Physiology, Wormgasse 9, Graz, Austria 3: Institute of medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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