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Abstract

Background

Sporotrichosis is one of the most common subcutaneous mycoses in Venezuela. It is a granulomatous chronic infection with cutaneous or subcutaneous tissue lesions. Regional lymphatic involvement may be present; extracutaneous disease is rare. The causal fungus Sporothrix schenckii has been isolated from soil, vegetation, and animals on numerous occasions and in many localities throughout the world. The aim of this study is to describe clinical and epidemiological features of cases of sporotrichosis observed in Venezuela and review of the literature.

Patients and methods

We included the demographic data, clinical features, diagnostic methods, treatment, and follow-up of patients with sporotrichosis from 1963 to 2009, diagnosed at the Department of Medical Mycology.

Results

One-hundred and thirty-three sporotrichosis cases were diagnosed. Most patients were under the age of 30 years (66.15%). In 61.6% of them, the mode of transmission was not identified. The predominant clinical form in this population was lymphocutaneous (63.15%). Direct microscopic diagnosis was performed in 123 cases, and 57.9% yielded positive results for asteroid body.

Conclusions

Sporotrichosis is an endemic subcutaneous mycosis in Venezuela. There are no reports to this date of disseminated forms of the disease, even amongst patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Direct microscopic examination of wet mount slides with saline solution or distilled water in the search for asteroid bodies is paramount. Saturated sodium and potassium iodine solutions continue to be extremely efficacious and affordable to most of our patients, therefore our treatment of choice.