Scalp ringworms or tinea capitis are the most common superficial fungal infections of the scalp and hair in the world with high prevalence in pediatric population. This study was to assess the prevalence of tinea capitis and its risk factors among residents of Koranic schools located in the Thiès region of Senegal. A cross-sectional survey was performed from February 2019 to March 2020. Socio-demographic, clinical and biological data were collected using standard questionnaire. Samples collected were examined using direct microscopy and cultured on Sabouraud- Chloramphenicol and Sabouraud-Chloramphenicol-Actidione medium. Risk factors were assessed by multivariate survey logistic regression models. Significance level was 0.05 two-sided. A total of 110 children with mean age of 9 years were included. Study population was predominantly male (96.4%). The average number of residents in Koranic schools was 112. The prevalence of scalp ringworms was 68.2% [(75/110) (95% CI: 53.6 - 85.5)]. Trichophyton soudanense (93.4%) and Microsporum audouinii (2.7%) were main fungal species. Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Trichophyton violaceum were found with each (1.3%). Parasitism was endothrix in 86.7%. Prevalence was higher in children aged over 10 years [(72.9%), OR =2.16, CI (0.48 – 9.69)]. Children with irregular-edged plaques were most affected (76.5%). Prevalence was higher among children who slept as more than 3 per mattress (79.1%), OR=1.82 (95% CI: 1.08 - 3.04). These results showed that tinea capitis are frequent in children. T. soudanense is the main fungal species. Better knowledge of the epidemiology of these diseases and improved living conditions for children could help improve patient management.
Key words: Tinea capitis, epidemiology, children, Koranic schools, Senegal.
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