Onychomycosis in KwaZulu- Natal, South Africa

Zandile Mazibuko, Anisa Mosam


Onychomycosis in temperate countries has been studied extensively, but few data are available on its epidemiology in tropical countries. This is true for South Africa as well. Onychomycosis is one of the conditions associated with HIV/AIDS and its prevalence has increased with that of HIV/AIDS. We have the highest prevalence of HIV globally and the only study on onychomycosis was one in the pre- HIV/AIDS era. Hence the importance of assessing the prevalence of onychomycosis and the spectrum of causative organisms. This has important implications for therapy, which is of long duration, is expensive and has many interactions with antiretrviral and anti- tuberculous drugs. This study will be retrospective, using the mycology laboratory specimen database from 01/01/1986 until 31/12/2008 to retrieve data. In doing this study, we will be able to describe the mycological spectrum in KwaZulu  Natal(KZN); to determine  the commonest fungus isolated in our region and compare our results with those from temperate climates.