Prevalence of tinea pedis, tinea unguium of toenails and tinea capitis in school children from Barcelona

Meritxell Pérez-González, Josep María Torres-Rodríguez, Antoni Martínez-Roig, Sonia Segura, Gemma Griera, Laura Triviño, Marta Pasarín

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of tinea capitis, tinea pedis, and tinea unguium in children from several schools of Barcelona city. Methods: During the period of 2003-2004, a prospective cross-sectional study was carried out in 1,305 children (9% immigrant population) between the ages 3 and 15 in 17 schools in Barcelona. A systematic examination of the feet, (including nails and scalp), was performed to identify lesions compatible with tinea. Cultures of scalp and feet samples were done and analysis of environmental samples was performed for dermatophyte isolation. Results: Dermatophytes were isolated in 2.9% of the samples with a prevalence of 2.5% in feet, 0.23% in scalp, and 0.15% in nails of the feet. The predominant etiologic agents in feet were Trichophyton mentagrophytes in 45.7% of the cases and Trichophyton rubrum in 31.4%. In the nails, T. rubrum and Trichophyton tonsurans were isolated, while T. mentagrophytes (2 cases) and Trichophyton violaceum (1 case) were identified in scalp samples. Forty-five per cent of dermatophytes were isolated from healthy feet, the majority of cases in children 13-15 years old (p<0.05). Microsporum gypseum was the only agent identified in the environmental samples, and was also found in one of the cases of tinea pedis. Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrate a low prevalence of tinea capitis and tinea unguium in school children of Barcelona. On the contrary, high prevalence of dermatophytes in feet was found. It highlights the high prevalence of healthy carriers of dermatophytes in feet. © 2008 Revista Iberoamericana de Micología.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-232
JournalRevista Iberoamericana de Micologia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009


  • Barcelona
  • Epidemiology
  • Etiology
  • School children
  • Tinea capitis
  • Tinea pedis
  • Tinea unguium


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