Background : T. tonsurans
infection is spreading among combat sport athletes in Japan, and preventive measures are necessary.
Methods : A questionnaire survey and hairbrush-culture tests were conducted over a 4-year period on university judo athletes from about 50 university teams affiliated with the University Judo Federation of Tokyo. Culture-positive individuals were given specific treatment recommendations based on culture results and were advised to seek treatment at a medical clinic. Culture-positive individuals were re-tested at 3 months post-treatment.
Results : Approximately 65% of participants reported a history of T. tonsurans
infection. The incidence of hairbrush culture-positive individuals overall gradually decreased from 11.3% (academic year 2008) to 5.4% (2011). Each year the incoming freshmen had the highest infection rate of the four academic classes. Beginning in 2009 the infection rates decreased sharply among those who had participated in the survey the previous year, and the decreases continued the following year (s) until graduation. Among culture-positive individuals, the incidence of asymptomatic carriers increased each year, from 86% in 2008 to 98% in 2011. The culture-negative conversion rate was 86% overall for those undergoing treatment.
Conclusion : Preventive measures against T. tonsurans
infection in the University Judo Federation of Tokyo were successful in increasing awareness of the disease, lowering the incidence of infection, and detecting asymptomatic carriers who require treatment.
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