A Recurrent Case of Adult Favus Successfully Treated with Terbinafine

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Erkan D., Kolukirik I., Acar A., Kandemir H. , Ilkit M.

MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, cilt.49, sa.4, ss.619-624, 2015 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 49 Konu: 4
  • Basım Tarihi: 2015
  • Doi Numarası: 10.5578/mb.9901
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.619-624


Favus or tinea capitis favosa, is a chronic inflammatory dermatophytosis of the scalp. The disease is particularly common in children aged 6 to 10 years, more often in boys, and it also occurs in adults. Human-to-human transmission is therefore possible. Anthropophilic Trichophyton schoenleinii is responsible for over 95% of favus cases. In addition, there are rare cases of anthropophilic T.violaceum, zoophilic (T.verrucosum, T.quinckeanum, and Microsporum canis) and geophilic M.gypseum species recorded as agents of favus. It is also reported in mice (T.quinckeanum), poultry (M.gallinae), and cats (M.incurvatum). Favus is common in Iran, Nigeria, and China, however it has been reported rarely in the last two decades in Turkey. Although Turkish records are not sufficient to indicate an accurate incidence rate, favus is still present in Turkey. In this report, a 20-year-old female with favus was presented. She had squames and areas of alopecia on the right frontoparietal area of her scalp. Scalp biopsy and hair follicle samples were taken for histopathological examination and fungal culture. According to the conventional identification by mycological methods and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequencing analysis, the pathogen was identified as T.schoenleinii. The patient was treated with oral terbinafine (250 mg/day) for 4 weeks and topical isoconazole and ketoconazole for 6 weeks. Clinical recovery was observed after 6 weeks, however, fungal culture could not be repeated. Six months after the initial presentation, the patient's symptoms recurred due to the poor adherence and T.schoenleinii was repeatedly grown in culture. Antifungal treatment was administered with the same drugs for the same period. There was a clinical and mycological recovery 8 months after initial presentation. Favus, which is not frequently observed in adults, is an uncommon disease. Confusion arises in its diagnosis because other diseases have similar clinical appearances, and asymptomatic carriage have also been reported. For these reasons, and because of improvements in health conditions, treatment might be delayed. With accurate assessment of the patient's medical history, the clinical characteristics of the disease, and results of laboratory analyses, coupled with effective mycologist-clinician collaboration, it is possible for the patient to continue a healthy social life. Consequently, favus is still an important health problem encountered in Turkey.