Kiprop Kugui, Pixley K Kipsumbai, Emily J Chemoiwa and Ezekiel Kiprop
Ringworm of the scalp (Tinea capitis) is a superficial fungal infection primarily caused by dermatophytes that invade the hair shaft. Effective elimination of the fungi is dependent on the identification of the species associated to achieve the greatest treatment of the disease. This study investigated the occurrence of dermatophytes species causing head Tinea capitis. A total of 267 pupils were sampled from nursery level to standard five (<5years to 14 years) in Marigat in Baringo County and examined for the presence of scalp disease. Infected specimens were collected from head scalps of infected children. Using sterile scalpels and forceps, infected epilated hair was cut around the scalp region, collected aseptically and wrapped in sterile aluminum foil paper. The collected samples were transported to the Kenya Medical Research Institute laboratory, Nairobi, for isolation and identification. The data on the demographic features was collected using a structured questionnaire. The data were analyzed using parametric tests employing analysis of variance test and correlation analysis. The prevalence of tinea capitis among the pupils in Marigat was 39.4%, which was found to significantly vary (p<0.05) with gender, age, class and previous history of antifungal treatments. There were significant differences in the prevalence of the fungal species causing tinea capitis among the pupils (χ2 = 11.285, df = 3, p = 0.0027). The most predominant dermatophyte species causing tinea capitis was Trichophyton tonsurans (48.3%) followed by Trichophyton mentagrophytes (37.1%) while, Nannizia gysea (29.2%) was the least prevalent among the species. It is clearly indicated that there is high occurrence of tinea capitis caused by three dermatophyte species. Therefore, there is need to device mechanisms to manage tinea capitis in this area.
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