"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!
Drought hits rivers first and more strongly than agriculture
06.09.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
Landslides triggered by human activity on the rise
23.08.2018 | European Geosciences Union
The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.
This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.
Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
21.09.2018 | Event News
03.09.2018 | Event News
27.08.2018 | Event News
21.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
21.09.2018 | Life Sciences
21.09.2018 | Event News