Severe Drug-Resistant Skin Infection Never Before Seen In US Detected In NY

A severe drug-resistant skin infection has been detected for the first time in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Trichophyton fungus.
The Trichophyton fungus. Photo Credit: CDC

The cases of tinea caused by Trichophyton indotineae were diagnosed in women ages 28 and 47 in New York City who experienced lesions on their neck, abdomen, thighs, and buttocks, the CDC said.

"A New York City dermatologist notified public health officials of two patients who had severe tinea that did not improve with oral terbinafine treatment, raising concern for potential T. indotineae infection," the CDC said in a statement, noting that these patients shared no epidemiologic links.

An outbreak of the rapidly spreading T. indotineae has escalated to epidemic proportions in India and other neighboring countries.

The 28-year-old had no recent travel history,  suggesting potential local US transmission. Other possible US cases are under investigation.

"Healthcare providers should consider T. indotineae infection in patients with widespread tinea, particularly when eruptions do not improve with first-line topical antifungal agents or oral terbinafine," the CDC said.

Commonly known as “ringworm,” tinea is most often caused by dermatophyte molds belonging to the genus Trichophyton (see the image above). 

The infection spreads easily by skin-to-skin contact with infected animals or persons, secondary spread from other affected body sites, and fomites.

View the full CDC statement here.

For more on Trichophyton indotineae from the National Library of Medicine, click here.

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