Case series and review of the literature
Objective Investigation on recent cases of tinea genitalis after travelling to South East Asia.
Methods Patients with tinea in the genital region, which emerged after sex in South East Asia, underwent further assessment including microscopy, cultures and DNA analyses.
Results The case series includes seven patients. In six patients, Trichophyton interdigitale (former Trichophyton mentagrophytes) was detected. Three patients suffered from a severe inflammatory reaction of the soft tissue and two of them needed hospitalisation due to severe pain. In four patients, cicatrising healing was noticed. Five patients were declared incapacitated for work.
Conclusions Sexual activity should be considered as a potentially important and previously underappreciated means of transmission of T. interdigitale. To avoid irreversible scarring alopecia, prompt initiation of antifungal treatment is essential and adequate isolation and identification of the pathogen is mandatory.
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