Trichophyton verrucosum is the most common ringworm agent in cattle. Epidemiology of cattle dermatophytoses in Central Italy is not clear. Its diffusion among cattle and herdsmen was investigated in 20 Umbrian farms, Central Italy. Hairs and scales were taken from 395 animals and 31 workers.
Typical ringworm was present in 71.7% of cattle under 6 months and in 11% of animals over 6 months. T. verrucosum was isolated from 98.9% of symptomatic heads and was the most prevalent dermatophyte in all herds investigated (isolated in 18 of the 20 farms). T. mentagrophytes var. mentagrophytes was found in 16 symptomatic and in eight asymptomatic young animals.
Prevalence of asymptomatic carriers of both species was significantly higher in young heads (21.1% vs. 8.1%) and the age below 6 months was the only statistically significant risk factor associated with dermatophytosis.
Occurrence of Trichophyton verrucosum in humans
About the workers, all the 14 me n with lesions were positive for T. verrucosum; copresence of T. verrucosum and Microsporum gypseum was noticed in one case. Results indicate a high diffusion of T. verrucosum among both animals and humans in Umbrian farms and confirm the dermatophyte infection as a public health problem. Periodic epidemiological surveys, treatment of sick livestock and workers, cleaning/sanitisation of herds and vaccination programmes may be useful in controlling the infection.
Authors: Francesco Agnetti et al. Full story here.