Sporotrichosis: The Story of an Endemic Region in Peru over 28 Years (1985 to 2012)

PLoS One. 2015 Jun 1;10(6):e0127924. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127924. eCollection 2015.


Background: Abancay province is a long-standing geographical focus of sporotrichosis in the south central highlands of Peru. Therefore, we examined the features of 36 newly identified cases of sporotrichosis from two hospital centers in Abancay province. We also performed a literature review of studies conducted in this endemic geographical focus over a period of 28 years (1998 to 2012), and analyzed the demographic, clinical and epidemiological features of sporotrichosis in the cases reported in these studies.

Methodology: We examined the features of 36 new cases of sporotrichosis identified from two hospital centers in Abancay. Furthermore, we searched for relevant studies of cases of sporotrichosis in the endemic region using healthcare databases and literature sources. We analyzed a detailed subset of data on cases collected in Abancay, neighboring provinces, and other regions of Peru.

Results: A total of nine studies were identified, with 1467 cases included in the final analysis. We also analyzed 36 new cases found in the two hospital centers. Therefore, the combined total of cases analyzed was 1503. Of this total, 58% were male, and approximately 62% were aged ≤14 years. As expected, most cases were from Abancay province (88%), although 12% were from neighboring provinces and other regions of Peru. The lymphocutaneous form (939 cases) was the commonest. The face was the most commonly affected region (647 cases). A total of 1224 patients (81.4%) received treatment: 95.8% received potassium iodide, 2.6% ketoconazole and 1.6% itraconazole. The overall success rates were 60.7% with potassium iodide, 32.2% with ketoconazole and 85% with itraconazole.

Conclusions: The epidemic of sporotrichosis has been occurring for three decades in the province of Abancay in Peru. This mycosis affects primarily the pediatric population, with predominantly the lymphocutaneous form in the facial region. Although treatment with potassium iodide is safe and effective, response and adherence to treatment are influenced by its duration, cost, accessibility, and side effects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Endemic Diseases / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Itraconazole
  • Ketoconazole / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peru / epidemiology
  • Sporotrichosis / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Itraconazole
  • Ketoconazole

Grants and funding

The authors have no support or funding to report.