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Onychomycosis Due to Nondermatophytic  Molds

Author(s): Sung MH, Moo KS, Gyoung YH



Although there have been many studies about onychomycosis due to nondermatophytic molds (NDM), few studies about etiologic agents including NDM in onychomycosis have been reported in Korea. Objective: This study investigated onychomycosis due to NDM in the Gyeongju area of Korea.


This study investigated onychomycosis due to NDM in the Gyeongju area of Korea.


In the 10-year period from 1999~2009, we reviewed 59 patients with onychomycosis due to NDM. The etiologic agents were identified by cultures on Sabouraud's Dextrose agar with and without cycloheximide. In some cases, internal transcribed spacer sequence analysis was done. NDM isolated considered pathogens when the presence of fungal elements was identified by direct microscopy observation and in follow-up cultures yielding the same fungi.


Onychomycosis due to NDM comprised 2.3% of all onychomycosis. Of the 59 patients with onychomycosis due to NDM, 84.7% were toenail onychomycosis and 15.3% were fingernail onychomycosis. The incidence rate was highest in the fifth decade (27.1%). The ratio of male to female patients was 1:1.6. The frequency of associated diseases, in descending order, was hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and cerebral hematoma. Distal and lateral subungual onychomycosis (86.4%) was the most common clinical type of onychomycosis. Aspergillus spp. was the most frequently isolated etiologic agent of onychomycosis due to NDM (83.0%). Other causative agents were Scopulariopsis brevicaulis (10.2%), Acremonium spp. (3.4%), Fusarium solani (1.7%), and Chaetomium globosum (1.7%).


Because of the increase in onychomycosis due to NDM, we suggest the need of a careful mycological examination in patients with onychomycosis.

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