Background: The rate of aspergillosis has decreased due to improvements in therapy. The rate of mucormycosis, however, has gradually increased in recent years. Both aspergillosis and mucormycosis produce histologically similar hyphae, pointing to the need for an objective tool to distinguish between them. Methods: Three aspergillosis cases and three mucormycosis cases were selected from autopsy cases in our hospital. Representative histological images were captured and hyphal angles in extravascular and intravascular lesions were calculated. Results: For both extravascular and intravascular lesions, the average hyphal angle of aspergillosis was acute, and the standard deviation was less than that of mucormycosis. In aspergillosis, the average hyphal angle for extravascular lesions was acute, and the standard deviation was less than that for intravascular lesions. However, for mucormycosis, there was no significant difference in both the average and standard deviation of the hyphal angles. Conclusion: Surgical pathologists should carefully examine the histological characteristics of the fungus to correctly identify specimens and be able to administer proper therapies.
An otherwise healthy 3-year-old girl presented with a several-month history of scaly lesions on her palms and soles. The lesions on the palms and right sole had been successfully treated with a steroid for pompholyx by a nearby dermatology clinic, but the lesion on the left sole persisted and spread to the back of the foot. On the initial visit, the patient exhibited an itchy and scaly erythematous left foot lesion. Direct microscopic examination of the scales revealed a considerable amount of fungal elements. A diagnosis of tinea pedis was made, and antifungal treatment with a neticonazole ointment was initiated. Complete cure was achieved after 4 weeks of treatment. The primary mycological cultures from the scales simultaneously revealed two types of colonies: a white powdery flat colony and a white downy elevated colony with a reddish-yellow bottom. Although the powdery colony was identified as Trichophyton mentagrophytes complex on slide culture, the downy colonies could not be identified based on cultural and morphological characteristics. The nucleotide sequences of the internal transcribed spacer region from both colonies showed an exact match, which eventually led to their identification as Trichophyton interdigitale. Further genotyping at three points in the non-transcribed spacer region in both colonies also showed the same NTS type of D2II. It is very rare for two morphologically different colonies to be isolated from the primary culture under the same conditions in tinea cases. Genetic tests are of extreme value to identify the strain in such cases.
Many clinicians prefer to treat onychomycosis systemically. However, systemic therapy may not be suitable for all onychomycosis patients due to drug interactions, side effects of oral medications, or comorbidities. Two topical agents (efinaconazole 10% in 2014 and luliconazole 5% in 2016) have recently been approved for treatment of onychomycosis in Japan. We investigated the efficacy of these topical agents at Teikyo University Mizonokuchi Hospital, Kanagawa, Japan. We conducted a retrospective survey among patients diagnosed with onychomycosis at our outpatient clinic and had been treated with either efinaconazole 10% solution or luliconazole 5% solution. Prior to commencement of treatment, the disease severity was evaluated using the Scoring Clinical Index for Onychomycosis (SCIO). Furthermore, the efficacies of these agents were evaluated using turbidity scoring at each visit to our outpatient clinic. Sixty-two patients (33 men, 29 women) applied efinaconazole 10% solution, and 72 patients (35 men, 37 women) applied luliconazole 5% solution. The mean SCIO scores were 18.1 and 17.4, respectively, and the mean 5-grade evaluation scores were 3.5 and 3.4, respectively. Complete cure rates were 40.3% (25/62) and 33.3% (24/72), respectively. The mean durations of treatment were 15.4 months and 11.9 months, respectively. There were no serious side effects in either treatment group. There were no significant differences between the two agents in improvement scores as assessed by the Tukey's test. Thus, efinaconazole 10% and luliconazole 5% topical solutions were effective for the treatment of onychomycosis. These topical agents may become important treatment options for this indication.
Cutaneous cryptococcosis is classified either as primary or secondary based on the route of infection. The disease can also be classified either as localized cutaneous cryptococcosis or cutaneous manifestations of disseminated cryptococcosis. However, from a physician's point of view, whether lesions are localized to the skin or are disseminated/systemic is more important than the route of infection. The Clinical Practice Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of Cryptococcosis, which was established in 2019 by the Japanese Society for Medical Mycology, adopted the latter classification. Localized cutaneous cryptococcosis is defined as a condition in which lesions are confined within a limited part of the skin, not systemically disseminated at the same time, and are associated with neither cryptococcal fungemia nor antigenemia. This type of cutaneous cryptococcosis is uncommon in Japan. Only 65 cases were reported during the 50-year study period from 1968 to August 2018, with the patients divided into two groups: immunocompromised patients (n=44, 68%) and immunocompetent patients (n=21, 32%). None of the patients were infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Localized cutaneous cryptococcosis can also occur in non-HIV-infected patients and well-appearing individuals, therefore, it is considered an important infection in routine dermatology practice. Here, we outline the classification, diagnosis, and treatment of cutaneous cryptococcosis and present a summary of cutaneous cryptococcosis cases reported in Japan.