Drug Discov Ther. 2019;13(4):207-211. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2019.01060)

Detection of Trichophyton spp. from footwear of patients with tinea pedis.

Ishijima SA, Hiruma M, Sekimizu K, Abe S


The prevalence of tinea pedis (also known as athlete's foot) in Japanese workers as well as contamination of their footwear by pathogenic filamentous fungi were investigated. Health checks by a dermatologist at a factory located in the Kanto region (Japan) led to a clinical and morphologic diagnosis of tinea pedis in 9 of 19 workers. Scales obtained from the feet and dust obtained from the protective footwear (safety shoes) worn daily in the factory were obtained from these nine subjects and tested using a mycological culture technique. Scales obtained from six of the nine subjects indicated pathogenic filamentous fungi, not only Trichophyton spp., but also Acremonium, which causes symptoms similar to tinea pedis or onychomycosis. Similarly, culture of the dust obtained from the safety shoes yielded pathogenic filamentous fungi in six of the nine subjects, and in four samples Trichophyton spp. was also identified. These findings suggest that cultivable Trichophyton spp. can be detected in approximately 40% of the safety shoes of workers with tinea pedis. The risk of reinfection by pathogenic filamentous fungi is likely increased by wearing dermatophyte-contaminated shoes.

KEYWORDS: Tinea pedis, dermatophyte, reinfection, microbial pollution

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