"The organism T. tonsurans has become the leading cause of scalp infection in the U.S., and we believe it is on the rise in inner city areas," said Susan Abdel-Rahman, Pharm.D., lead study author and professor of pediatrics and pharmacy at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics.
"This study supports what I and many of my peers are seeing – children with scaly, itchy scalps and hair loss are prevalent in metropolitan areas. If not treated, ringworm can lead to permanent hair loss, which can damage a child's self image. There is also some evidence that it may worsen seemingly unrelated problems such as asthma and allergic rhinitis."
Although its name suggests otherwise, ringworm is caused by a fungus, not a worm. In the past, Microsporum species were the main cause of ringworm, often passed to humans from cats and dogs. However, in recent years, T. tonsurans emerged, which spreads directly between humans, and is more challenging to screen for and treat.
The study of 10,514 children in grades K through 5 across 44 schools found that 6.6 percent of the children evaluated were infected with T. tonsurans. Infection rates varied markedly based on age and race, with African American children at greatest risk. More than 18 percent of the youngest African American children evaluated (kindergarten and first grade) were infected, with that number dropping to 7 percent by the time they reached fifth grade. In contrast, infection rates in Hispanic (1.6 percent) and Caucasian children (1.1 percent) were significantly lower. The reason for the dramatically higher prevalence in African Americans is not clear.
Current treatment regimens for T. tonsurans require a course of oral antifungal medicine typically for six to eight weeks until the symptoms resolve. However, in many of these children the fungus will not be completely eliminated. Consequently, children can still spread the infection to their classmates after being treated. "T. tonsurans has learned how to stay on the host and avoid eradication. This can be very frustrating for children who keep getting re-infected and for their parents who are doing everything they can to prevent this," added Abdel-Rahman. "We have only recently started to appreciate just how many children carry this pathogen so we don't yet know the best way to tackle this problem. However, I do advise parents to limit the sharing of items that come into contact with the scalp such as hats, combs, brushes and pillows. Watch closely for signs of infection such as flaking that looks like dandruff, white patchy scaling, itching, hair thinning or loss, and small pus-filled bumps, especially when your child has come in contact with another infected child. Make an appointment to see your doctor if you suspect that your child is infected and make sure to take the prescribed medicine as directed along with the application of a medicated shampoo two to three times a week."
About Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics
Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, located in Kansas City, Mo., is one of the nation's top pediatric medical centers. The 314-bed hospital provides care for children from birth through the age of 18, and has been recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet designation for excellence in nursing services, and ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of "America's Best Children's Hospitals." Its faculty of 600 pediatricians and researchers across more than 40 subspecialties are actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research, and educating the next generation of pediatric subspecialists. For more information about Children's Mercy and its research, visit childrensmercy.org. For breaking news and videos, follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
Sherry Gibbs | EurekAlert!
Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences