Tinea capitis caused by trichophyton tonsurans in tropical Africa: A review of the scientific literature



Objective: To conduct a systematic review of current literature to identify the prevalence of tinea capitis caused by Trichophyton tonsurans in tropical Africa and to determine if control and therapeutic measures are required based on mycotic prevalence.
Data sources: PubMed database at the National Institutes of Health, MEDLINE, MEDLINE in process, World Health Organisation (WHO) online report database and abstracts by The International Society of Dermatology, published between January 1996 and January 2016.
Study selection: Database citations were selected using key words, including; ‘Tinea capitis’, ‘Trichophyton Tonsurans’, ‘dermatoses’, ‘scalp ringworm’, ‘Africa’. Observational studies based within the Torrid Zone of Africa were selected. Only studies written in English, showing results of proven T. tonsurans in males and females, from direct microscopic examination were eligible.
Results: A total of 26 studies were selected that met the inclusion criteria. Studies were divided into geographical locations including West Africa, East Africa and Central Africa. The prevalence of tinea capitis caused by Trichophyton tonsurans in West Africa, East Africa and Central Africa was 13.0%, 14.8% and 15.3% respectively. Kenya had the highest prevalence at 41.0% and Ivory Coast had no documented cases. The overall prevalence from 26 studies within the African tropics was 14.4%.
Conclusions: This systematic review highlights the prevalence of tinea capitis caused by Trichophyton tonsurans in tropical Africa and illustrates this public health problem among children in tropical Africa. It also demonstrates the need for cost-effective education and training into managing tinea capitis to adequately control the presence of Trichophyton tonsurans.


Dr. Brent Doolan