The study was aimed at assessing the frequency of zoophilic and geophilic fungal infections among farmers compared to non-farmers in eastern Poland.
The study was carried out on adult patients with a suspicion of fungal infection of skin or its appendages. Skin scrapings or nail fragments were cultured on Sabouraud agar with chloramphenicol and cycloheximide for at least 3 weeks, and then identified based on macroscopic and microscopic morphology. In total, 116 subjects were included into the farmers group, 67 females and 49 males, aged 18-88 (median 53) years.
Dermatophyte infection was found in 64 farmers (55.2%). Anthropophilic dermatophytes were identified in 61 farmers (52.6%), whereas zoophilic or geophilic dermatophytes - in only 5 farmers (4.3%). Trichophyton verrucosum was found in 3 cases, while T. terrestrae and Microsporum gypseum - 1 case each. The control group comprised 74 non-farmers, 40 females and 34 males, aged 18-93 (median 47) years. Among them, dermatophyte infection was found in 35 (47.3%) patients. Anthropophilic dermatophytes were identified in 30 (40.5%), whereas zoophilic or geophilic dermatophytes in 6 persons (8.1%): M. canis in 2 patients, and T. verrucosum, T. mentagrophytes var. mentagrophytes (granulosum), M. nanum, and T. terrestrae - 1 case each. There were no significant differences between farmers and non-farmers. Zoophilic and geophilic fungi identified in our study were responsible either for superficial mycosis and/or onychomycosis, no case of deep mycoses or scalp infections were found.
Our data suggest that zoophilic and geophilic dermatophytoses are not frequent among eastern-Polish farmers.
KEY WORDS: occupational hygiene, work-related infections, farmers, zoophilic and geophilic dermatophytes, superficial mycoses, onychomycosis, Trichophyton verrucosum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes var. mentagrophytes (granulosum), Trichophyton terrestrae, Microsporum canis, Microsporum nanum, Microsporum gypseum.
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