Association of Bacteria with Superficial Fungal Infections

Superficial fungal infections involving human hair, nails, epidermis, and mucosa are known as benign infections caused by pathogenic fungi. Because of their ability to cling and expand over and within the intact skin surface, fungal infections acquired this reputation, extracting nutrients from the skin as they are unable to produce their own food. Bacteria associated with superficial fungal infections were identified and determined by this research. In the Dermatophilosis Research Centre, National Veterinary Research Institute Vom, Plateau State, Nigeria, sample selection and analysis were conducted over a span of sixteen (16) months. From subjects referred to the Centre from various hospitals with evident skin infections, nine hundred and forty (940) human skin and nail scraping samples were obtained from different parts of the body. Normal microbiological methods including: wet mounting, tease mounting, culture and biochemical tests for isolation and identification of fungi and bacteria were used to perform sample analysis. Of the 940 samples, 892(94.9 percent) developed fungal species, including: Microsporum 45(4.8 percent), Trichophyton 176(18.7 percent), Aspergillus 216(22.9 percent), Epidermophyton 32(3.4 percent), Candida 72(7.7 percent), Mucor 141(15.0 percent), Rhizopus 52(5.5 percent), Fusarium 12(1.3 percent), Bipolaris 23(2.5 percent), Sporothrix 74(7.9 percent), Penicillium 32(3.4 percent) and Penicillium 32(3.4 percent) (1.8 percent ). All 940 (100 percent) samples yielded a variety of bacteria including: Staphylococcus aureus 125 (13.3 percent), Staphylococcus epidermidis 145 (15.8 percent), Micrococcus luteus 233 (24.8 percent), alpha-hemolytic Streptococci 89 (9.5 percent), Escherichia coli 59 (6.3 percent), Proteus mirabilis 113 (12 percent), Bacillus subtilis 78 (8.3 percent) and Klebsiella pneumonia 98 (8.3 percent) (10.4 percent ). From all sites of infection, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Micrococcus luteus were isolated, while Micrococcus luteus was isolated from all infections of moist ulcerous and dry scaly skin. This research clearly demonstrated that bacteria are associated with superficial fungal infections and noted that the most prevalent bacterial organism associated with superficial fungal infections was Micrococcus luteus. Any of the bacteria isolated can grow infections via broken skin under favourable conditions, thus complicating or prolonging the treatment of the skin infection.

Author(s) Details

Aleruchi Chuku
Microbiology Department, Federal University Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria.

Obinna O. Nwankiti
Bacteriology Department, National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Nigeria.

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