Survey of Onychomycosis

Onychomycosis – ECMM - National Survey

Dermatomycoses, manifested as infections of skin, hair and nails, are the most common human fungal diseases. The diseases have a world-wide distribution and affect both immunocompromised as well as non-immunocompromised individuals of all ages.
Although dermatomycoses do not constitute life-threatening diseases, they do affect human health and well being, causing discomfort or even pain. Their management may be difficult, associated with a long treatment period and with significant costs to the patients and/or health care system. Some of the dermatomycoses, such as Tinea capitis in children may pose a public health problem.
The major fungal groups causing dermatomycoses include the Dermatophytes, the yeasts Candida and Malassezia, and more rarely, various molds, such as Fusarium, Scopulariopsis, Aspergillus, Acremonium species and others, particularly as etiological agents of nail infections – onychomycosis.
Onychomycosis is the major clinical manifestation of dermatomycoses, which in current medicine still poses a therapeutic challenge. Onychomycosis, particularly that caused by non-dermatophyte molds, requires generally, systemic antifungal treatment, for long periods of time, and even then, the success rate is not very high.
Dermatomycoses in general, are not reportable diseases, thus the accurate numbers are not fully known. This is also applicable to onychomycosis – data regarding frequency or specific epidemiologic data in reference to etiological agents, association with age or gender group, are not sufficiently available.

ECMM, as the body representing the Mycological Societies of Europe, has undertaken several surveys on epidemiology of different fungal infections in the different countries represented in ECMM. No such survey regarding dermatomycoses has been thus far, carried out by the ECMM. Considering the wide scope of dermatomycoses, onychomychosis – the major clinical entity presenting a therapeutic challenge, has been chosen as a subject for an ECMM survey.
It is proposed that each national delegate in the ECMM council will collect data on onychomysis in his/her country for the last 3 years and on. The attached form could be used to facilitate collection of data. The collected data could be forwarded to Prof. Esther Segal – segale@post.tau.ac.il , to be eventually presented at the coming ECMM Council meeting.