Background: Deep fungal and higher bacterial skin infections occur fairly frequently in Thailand.
Methods: Cases with a provisional diagnosis of deep fungal and higher bacterial infections were prospectively collected from 1994 to 1997 in the Granuloma Clinic, Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand. Demographic data, clinical manifestations, causative organisms, histologic features, treatment, and outcome were investigated.
Results: The total cases in a 4-year period numbered 27. The male to female ratio was approximately 1:1. Mycetoma was most common, followed by chromoblastomycosis. Actinomycetoma was similar in incidence to eumycetoma. The only causative organism that could be identified among the mycetoma cases was Cladosporium carrionii, which caused mycetoma of the buttock of an aplastic anemia patient at the site of bone marrow aspiration. Surgical treatment was recommended for eumycetoma. Chromoblastomycosis was caused by C. carrionii and F. compactum and responded well with itraconazole orally. Mycotic abscesses were found in four cases, basidiobolomycosis in two cases, and cutaneous nocardiosis in one case. Cotrimoxazole was recommended in the treatment of actinomycetoma, cutaneous nocardiosis, and basidiobolomycosis.
Conclusions: Localized, chronic, slow, progressive, and usually asymptomatic were the main cutaneous manifestations of deep fungal and higher bacterial skin infections. A skin biopsy for histologic study and culture identification should be performed in every suspected case. The causative organisms were found in the histologic sections of every case, but only about one-third were found by culture.