Objective: A three-year retrospective study of fungi isolated from samples of patients with suspected fungal skin infections in Eastern Slovakia is presented.
Methods: A total of 11,989 samples were collected and investigated with direct microscopic examination using 20% KOH and cultivated in Sabouraud and Mycosel medium. Identification was based on macroscopic and microscopic characteristics.
Results: Of the total samples, 61.76% (7,405/11,989) were completely negative and 38.24% positive (4,584/11,989). Dermatophytes accounted for 45.88% of isolates (2,103/4,584), yeasts for 26.79% (1,228/4,584), non-dermatophytes for 15.29% (701/4,584), and Malassezia sp. for 12.4% (552/4,584). Trichophyton rubrum was the most prevalent causative agent (79.08%) implicated in fungal skin infections, followed by Trichophyton interdigitale (10.60%). Less frequent isolates included Trichophyton tonsurans (5.13%), and Trichophyton mentagrophytes (3.14%). Other dermatophytes (Microsporum audouinii, Microsporum gypseum, Microsporum canis, Trichophyton violaceum, Trichophyton verrucosum, and Epidermophyton floccosum) were very rarely identified (each in less than 1% of all samples). The main clinical form of dermatophytosis in the sample was tinea unguium (42.61%), followed by tinea pedis (30.86%), tinea inguinalis (11.65%), tinea corporis (8.04%), and tinea manus (4.76%). Tinea capitis et faciei (2.08%) was more common among children and adolescents.
Conclusion: The assessment of data has showed the predominance of tinea unguium among adult patients, tinea capitis et faciei among children, and the prevalent aetiological role of Trichophyton rubrum in fungal skin infections; findings that are in agreement with recent European studies.
Keywords: dermatophytes; epidemiology; retrospective study; tinea.