Published: 2021-02-22

Prevalence and associated risk factors of superficial and cutaneous mycoses among children attending Halibet referral hospital in Asmara, Eritrea

John J. Prabakaran, Yordanos Kesete, Eyob Yohannes, Eyorusalem Tsehaye, Natsnet Teklezghi, Eyorusalem Araya, Winta Arefaine


Background: Superficial and cutaneous mycoses are very common among the populations in many African countries. Even though it has not been regarded as a significant problem since the disease is not life-threatening, it may be particularly distressing for the children. The aim of this study was to identify important etiologic agents, proportion of clinical manifestations and related risk factors of superficial and cutaneous mycoses.

Methods: A case control prospective study was conducted among children of age 4-14 from January to June, 2017.A total of 240 children were included in the study. Out of these 120 children who visited Orotta Pediatric hospital for cases apart from skin infections were used as control group and the remaining 120 were children suspected with fungal skin infection who attended Halibet referral hospital. Nail, skin and scalp scrapings were collected and subjected for microscopic examination and culture-based laboratory diagnosis. The associated risk factors which can lead to skin mycoses were also analysed.

Results: Among 120 suspected cases, 87.5% children were positive for superficial cutaneous mycoses out of which 59.2% were males and 40.8% were females. The most prevalent dermatophyte observed was Trichophyton verrucosum (15.2%) whereas Trichosporon sp. (40%) was predominant among non-dermatophytes. Most of the infections occurred between age groups 4-6 (32.5%). Tinea capitis was the most common disease (57.5%) among the cutaneous mycotic infections, whereas white Piedra (40%) was predominant among the superficial mycotic infections. The important risk factors were intimate association with livestock or pet (50%), playing with children having skin infection (73.3%), sharing of beds (92.5%), sharing of combs (75.3%) and sharing of towels (80.1%).

Conclusions: The present study clearly shows that tinea capitis was the predominant clinical finding in children and T. verrucosum was the most common fungus among dermatophytes. At least five risk factors were statistically significant out of all. So public health workers should give attention for increasing the knowledge of society regarding the mode of transmission of skin mycoses, hygiene behaviour and associated risk factors.


Superficial and cutaneous fungi, Children, Epidemiology, Risk factors

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