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      Onychomycosis due to opportunistic molds*


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          Onychomycosis are caused by dermatophytes and Candida, but rarely by non- dermatophyte molds. These opportunistic agents are filamentous fungi found as soil and plant pathogens.


          To determine the frequency of opportunistic molds in onychomycosis.


          A retrospective analysis of 4,220 cases with onychomycosis, diagnosed in a 39-month period at the Institute of Dermatology and Skin surgery "Prof. Dr. Fernando A. Cordero C." in Guatemala City, and confirmed with a positive KOH test and culture.


          32 cases (0.76%) of onychomycosis caused by opportunistic molds were confirmed. The most affected age group ranged from 41 to 65 years (15 patients, 46.9%) and females were more commonly affected (21 cases, 65.6%) than males. Lateral and distal subungual onychomycosis (OSD-L) was detected in 20 cases (62.5%). The microscopic examination with KOH showed filaments in 19 cases (59.4%), dermatophytoma in 9 cases (28.1%), spores in 2 cases (6.25%), and filaments and spores in 2 cases (6.25%). Etiologic agents: Aspergillus sp., 11 cases (34.4%); Scopulariopsis brevicaulis , 8 cases (25.0%); Cladosporium sp., 3 cases (9.4%); Acremonium sp., 2 cases (6.25%); Paecilomyces sp., 2 cases (6.25%); Tritirachium oryzae , 2 cases (6.25%); Fusarium sp., Phialophora sp., Rhizopus sp. and Alternaria alternate, 1 case (3.1%) each.


          We found onychomycosis by opportunistic molds in 0.76% of the cases and DLSO was present in 62.5%. The most frequent isolated etiological agents were: Aspergillus sp. and Scopulariopsis brevicaulis .

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          Most cited references52

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          Onychomycosis: pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management.

          Although not life-threatening, onychomycosis (a fungal infection of the nail, usually caused by a dermatophyte) constitutes an important public health problem because of its high prevalence (about 10% of the U.S. population) and associated morbidity. The disease can have certain negative consequences for patients, such as pain, and can potentially undermine work and social lives. This review discusses the etiology, classification, diagnosis, and treatment of onychomycosis. Four types of onychomycosis are recognized based on the site and pattern of fungal invasion. Dermatophyte fungi are the predominant pathogens, but yeasts (especially Candida albicans) and nondermatophyte molds may also be implicated. Accurate diagnosis requires direct microscopy and fungal culture. The differential diagnosis includes psoriasis, lichen planus, onychogryphosis, and nail trauma. Onychomycosis is more difficult to treat than most dermatophytoses because of the inherent slow growth of the nail. Older antifungal agents (ketoconazole and griseofulvin) are unsuitable for onychomycosis because of their relatively poor efficacy and potential adverse effects. Three recently developed antimycotic agents (fluconazole, itraconazole, and terbinafine) offer high cure rates and good safety profiles. In addition, the short treatment times (< 3 months) and intermittent dosing schedules are likely to enhance compliance and reduce the costs of therapy.
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            Onychomycosis caused by nondermatophytic molds: clinical features and response to treatment of 59 cases.

            Nail invasion by nondermatophytic molds (NDM) is considered uncommon with prevalence rates ranging from 1.45% to 17. 6%. We report the clinical features and response to treatment of onychomycosis caused by these molds. From 1995 through 1998 we performed a mycologic study on 1548 patients affected by nail disorders, and we diagnosed 431 cases of onychomycosis including 59 cases of onychomycosis caused by molds. These include 17 patients with onychomycosis caused by Scopulariopsis brevicaulis, 26 patients with onychomycosis caused by Fusarium sp, 9 patients with onychomycosis caused by Acremonium sp, and 7 patients with onychomycosis caused by Aspergillus sp. Onychomycosis caused by S brevicaulis, Fusarium sp, and Aspergillus sp may often be suspected by clinical examination. In fact 38 of 50 patients with onychomycosis resulting from these molds were affected by proximal subungual onychomycosis associated with inflammation of the proximal nailfold. In our experience mold onychomycosis is not significantly associated with systemic diseases or immunodepression. NDM are difficult to eradicate; by using and combining different treatments (systemic itraconazole, systemic terbinafine, topical terbinafine after nail plate avulsion, and ciclopirox nail lacquer) we were able to cure only 69.2% of patients with S brevicaulis onychomycosis, 71.4% of patients with Acremonium onychomycosis, and 40% of patients with Fusarium onychomycosis. Aspergillus onychomycosis, on the other hand, responded very well to therapy and all our patients were cured after systemic or topical treatment. Eradication of the mold produced a complete cure of the nail abnormalities in all the patients who responded to treatment. Clinical examination usually suggests diagnosis of onychomycosis resulting from NDM. Topical treatment can be more successful than systemic therapy to cure onychomycosis caused by S brevicaulis, Fusarium sp, and Acremonium sp.
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              Guidelines for treatment of onychomycosis.

              These guidelines for management of onychomycosis have been prepared for dermatologists on behalf of the British Association of Dermatologists. They present evidence-based guidance for treatment, with identification of the strength of evidence available at the time of preparation of the guidelines, and a brief overview of epidemiological aspects, diagnosis and investigation.

                Author and article information

                An Bras Dermatol
                An Bras Dermatol
                Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia
                Sociedade Brasileira de Dermatologia
                May-Jun 2015
                May-Jun 2015
                : 90
                : 3
                : 334-337
                [1 ]Institute of Dermatology and Skin surgery “Prof. Dr. Fernando A. Cordero C.” – Guatemala City, Guatemala
                [2 ]‘Dr. Manuel Gea González’ General Hospital – Mexico City, Mexico
                [3 ]Hospital “Omar Torrijos Herrera” – Panamá
                Author notes
                MAILING ADDRESS: Erick Obed Martínez-Herrera, Calz San Juan 32-11 Z-7 - Guatemala. E-mail: martinezerickh@ 123456gmail.com
                © 2015 by Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 09 March 2014
                : 10 June 2014

                fungi,onychomycosis,opportunistic infections
                fungi, onychomycosis, opportunistic infections


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