Fungal infections – 12 cases

Fungal infections may be given different names depending on site, causative organism or clinical presentation.

For each of the twelve cases, study the image(s) and then answer the questions. You can click on the image to view a larger version if required.

Each case should take approximately 2 minutes to complete. There is a list of suggested further reading material at the end of the quiz.

Case 1

Tinea capitis

Microsporum canis

Tinea capitis is the name given for dermatophyte infections of the scalp, i.e., fungi of the genera Trichophyton, Microsporum or Epidermophyton. In New Zealand, Microsporum canis remains the most prevalent infection and nearly always affects children. It results in patches of hair loss in which there is prominent scale, and sometimes provokes an inflammatory kerion. It is easy to scrape off scale and extract infected hairs for mycological examination. In adults, a 'black dot' appearance may rarely occur, when Trichophyton tonsurans is the likely cause.

Tinea capitis should be treated with systemic antifungal agents because topicals do not penetrate deeply enough; sometimes prolonged courses are necessary to eradicate the infection.

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