Back issues No.2 - 2003 / Original Study  

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Dermatophyte Isolation from Instruments Used in Hair Salons in Kaohsiung City
Jen-Chyi Chang, Meng-Chun Tsai, Mark Ming-Long Hsu
Dermatol Sinica 21 : 106-112, 2003

It is reported that the incidence of adult tinea capitis is increasing in southern Taiwan in recent years. To understand if it relates to the instruments that hair salons used, we performed fungal cultures from instruments used in 125 hair salons, which were selected by convenient sampling method from all 1310 hair salons under supervision of Municipal Health Department in Kaohsiung city. From each of them, about 10 routinely used instruments were selected and inoculated onto Mycosel agar plates. These plates were cultured in 30℃ for 4 weeks. The results from 997 valid samples showed that most were environmental microorganisms. Trichophyton violaceum, which is the most common etiologic agent of tinea capitis in southern Taiwan was the only dermatophyte isolated from one instrument. Although the isolation rate is low, this research does show that the conidia-containing instruments in hair salons could serve as fomites in the transmission of tinea capitis. Since there are only sporadic cases without large-scale endemic infections and a great predilection for adult female, it seems that to establish predisposing factors for development of tinea capitis might be more important in controlling the disease. In addition, a consensus in sampling and inoculation in such a field survey is important and may improve the results.

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