Medically important fungi found in hallux nails of university students from Cali, Colombia
Álvarez, María Inés
Caicedo, Luz Dary
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The presence of medically important fungi was studied in hallux nails scrapings obtained from 504 students (204 males, 300 females) of three universities in Cali. Specimens were examined by direct microscopic examination and fungal culture. Medically important fungi were found in 49 (9.7%) students, 24 (4.8%) had onychomycosis while the rest did not have nail lesions. Trichophyton rubrum was the most commonly isolated fungi in students with lesions, where as T. mentagrophytes predominated in healthy nails. Most of the students with fungi were males. The prevalence of fungi was higher in individuals between 26 and 35 years. No association was observed between fungi and practicing sports or undergoing pedicures. These results suggest that dermatophytes can be found in healthy hallux nails, which can be reservoirs of pathogenic fungi.