Epidemiology of nail infection due to keratinophilic fungi
Josep M. Torres-Rodríguez and Olga López-Jodra
Clinical and Experimental Mycology Research Group (GREMEC), IMIM, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain
This chapter is a review of the data available on the most frequent etiological agents as well as several occasional ones, and includes the methods used for a more accurate diagnosis. Although there is no doubting the importance of dermatophyte fungi, especially Trichophyton rubrum, as the causative agents of tinea unguium, the etiological role of some keratinophilic yeasts and moulds is more controversial as they are so-called opportunistic agents of onychomycosis. To a large extent the clinical forms of onychomycosis refer to a particular fungus or group of fungi, some of which, like Scytalidium/Hendersonula for example, are only found in certain regions with a warm climate.
Although there is the belief that onychomycosis has increased its presence, especially in developed countries, the data available on its prevalence is limited and varies considerably according to the origin of the publication and the study method.
Consideration is given to the factors favouring infection, the low incidence of this mycosis among the younger age group, and the social and economic impact of onychomycosis in developed countries.
In: Kushwaha RKS, Guarro J (Eds.). Biology
of Dermatophytes and other Keratinophilic Fungi.