Tinea capitis is one of the major common skin diseases affecting school-age children in developing countries, whose prevalence and associated fungi have not been fully investigated in these countries. This study investigated the prevalence and fungi associated with Tinea capitis infection amongst children attending selected schools in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted involving 72 school children recruited from 10 primary schools in selected class strata in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania. A multistage sampling technique was used. Skin scrapings were obtained from head lesions of school children followed with fungi isolation. Fungi were identified based on their morphological characteristics and nucleotide sequencing of the 5.8s rRNA gene and flanking internal transcribed spacer regions ITS1 and ITS2. Socio-demographic characteristics of sampled school children were collected using a questionnaire. The fungi associated with tinea capitis in school children were Trichoderma longibrachiatum, Cytobasidium minutum, Aspergillus spp, Ectophoma multirostrata, Aureobasidium pullulans, Aspergillus flavus, Cladosporium tenuissimum, Penicillium flavigenum and Fusarium solani. Out of the 10 primary schools surveyed, Chamwino had an overall higher prevalence with 11 (15.3%) cases of tinea capitis. Overall, 31 (43.1%) of the school children washed their hair at least once a day. It was found that 30 (41.7%) and 39 (54.2%) school children shared combs and had a member in their family with tinea capitis, respectively. Furthermore, only 18 (25%) of the affected school children sought treatment. Tinea capitis is associated with multiple dermatophytes amongst school children in Morogoro Municipality. It is recommended that body hygiene education be emphasized in schools and congestion of classrooms be avoided in order to minimize transmission of the disease through contact.
Key words: Tinea capitis, Fungi Identification, dermatomycosis, dermatophytes, school children, Morogoro, Tanzania.
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