Onyehomycosis in Rome, Italy

R. Mercantini, R. Marsella, D. Moretto

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This report presents the results of a study conducted between 1985 and 1994 on onychomycosis observed in the city of Rome. Six thousand six hundred and eighty eight patients were examined during this period. Among them 1,762 (26.3%) were affected by fungal nail infections. Because the etiologic agents could not be isolated in 105 cases (6%), the results refer to 1,657 subjects (24.8% of the total), presenting with positive microscopic and cultural examinations. Thirty eight patients (2.3%) had onychomycosis of both their hands and feet. From an etiological point of view, 59.1% of the nail infections were caused by yeasts, 23.2% were infected with dermatophytes and 17.6% by non-dermatophytic fungi. The etiology of onychomycosis of the hands differed from that of the feet. Yeasts were primarily responsible for onychomycosis of the hands (86.2%), while dermatophytes caused tinea unguium peduum (48%). Fungal fingernail infections by Candida spp. were the most common (50.3%), followed by those of the feet by dermatophytes (20%). Candida albicans was responsible for 70.6% of the hand infections but for only 15.9% of those of the feet. Trichophyton rubrum and T mentagrophytes were the most common dermatophytes, mainly causing toenail infections (23.4% and 21%, respectively), while Aspergillus spp., Scopulariopsis brevicaulis, Acremonium spp. and Aspergillus niger were the most common non-dermatophytes observed. With regard to sex, the fungal nail infections were more widespread in women (72.1%) and in subjects of both sexes over the age of 50.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Candida spp.
  • dermatophytes
  • epidemiology
  • non-dermatophytes
  • onychomycosis
  • Rome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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