Epidemiology and Evaluation of Diagnostic Methods in Superficial Mycoses in the Dermatology Service of a Public Hospital in Santos, Brazil
Introduction: Superficial mycoses are fungal infections caused mainly by dermatophytes, yeasts and non-dermatophyte filamentous fungi, which affect the most superficial layers of the skin and its appendages. They have a high prevalence worldwide.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the epidemiology of superficial mycoses, as well as the index of agreement between direct mycological exa- mination and fungal culture.
Methods: This is a retrospective study carried out at the Dermatology clinic of a tertiary hospital, during 6 years. For diagnostic elucidation, ma- terial was collected by scraping or curettage, for further analysis by direct mycological examination and culture for fungi.
Results: Four hundred thirty nine samples of suspicious lesions of superficial mycoses from 420 patients were included, 268 female (63.8% pa- tients) with a mean age of 45.7 years (3 months to 95 years), with most cases from the nails (43.4%) and glabrous skin (24.1%). In general, the most common fungus found in the culture was Trichophyton rubrum, however, not in all studied skin sites. Direct mycological examination showed a statistically significant association with culture (K=0.955), if cases with contamination on culture were eliminated.
Conclusion: Direct mycological examination and culture, as diagnostic methods in Dermatology, provide satisfactory and low-cost results, favo- ring patients and the health system. This study allowed us to describe the epidemiological profile of patients at a reference dermatology center, with relevant data in relation to our objective. Agreement between direct mycological examination and culture showed the reliability of the me- thods.
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