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Original Article

IJMDC. 2019; 3(2): 204-208

The prevalence of scalp dermatophytes carriers among asymptomatic children in urban city in Saudi Arabia

Abdulmajeed Alajlan, Mohammed Alnafisah, Omar Aldhasee, Ziyad Alajlan, Naif Alhefdhi, Turki Alotaibi, Sami Alsuwaidan.


Background: Tinea capitis is a fungal scalp infection that poses a universal concern due to its common spread among children. This study was done to determine the prevalence of colonization with scalp fungi (dermatophytes) among asymptomatic children aged between 2 and 15 years.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study with a total of 932 children aged between 2 and 15 years from February to March 2016 was carried out in primary care clinic at King Khalid University Hospital and in seven primary schools at Riyadh. Questionnaires with a consent form were distributed among the parents of the participants and samples were collected from the scalp using wet swabs and cultured in dermatophyte test media. Cultures were incubated at 28°C for 2 weeks.
Results: In all, 60 out of 932 subjects were excluded due to incomplete surveys. The prevalence of dermatophyte carriers among the total sample size (n = 872) turned to be 0% because no growth of dermatophyte fungi was observed in any of the cultured samples. Itching scalp, contact with animals, and use of shared combs were the three most common measured factors by the subjects.
Conclusion: The fact that no asymptomatic carriers were found among the children in Riyadh region may be referred to the urban community of the city which may lessen the number of carrier state according to the literature. However, this result might be misleading due to some other reasons related to the environment or the sampling method.

Key words: Tinea capitis, Dermatophyte, asymptomatic carriers, wet swab, Children.

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