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Keywords:

  • fungal flora;
  • Hammam;
  • Turkish bath;
  • sauna

Summary

Traditional Turkish baths, Hammams, occupy a prominent place in public health in history and at present. It is well-known that baths are major sources of fungal skin infections, but according to our knowledge fungal flora of Turkish Hammams was not defined yet. In Bolu, Turkey, two Hammams were open to public and for detecting fungal flora, we collected 209 samples from different part of floors, tools and screened for the fungal pathogens. From floors of the dressing rooms, Trichophyton rubrum and Candida albicans; from slippers T. rubrum, T. mentagrophytes, Epidermophyton floccosum, Candida albicans and C. tropicalis were isolated. While we could not isolate any dermatophyte species and yeasts from the vicinity of the bath windows and walls of baths, Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp. were isolated from the same locations. Samples taken from marble floors of baths, central massage platforms (hottest part of the Hammam) and towels did not show any fungal growth. This report reveals that components of the Turkish Hammams have low risk for fungal contamination as a result of frequent cleaning and environmental high temperature. But shared tools like slippers were found to be an important source of fungal contamination.