J Mycol Infect.  2021 Jun;26(2):28-34. 10.17966/JMI.2021.26.2.28.

An Investigation of Clinical and Mycological Characteristics of Onychomycosis in Fishing Villages

  • 1Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, Inje University, Busan, Korea
  • 2Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Daegu, Korea
  • 3Haeundae Jin Dermatologic Clinic, Busan, Korea


Many studies have investigated onychomycosis in various populations. However, no study has been conducted among individuals living in fishing villages, who seem to be more susceptible to onychomycosis.
This study was conducted to investigate the prevalence, clinical and mycological characteristics, and risk factors of onychomycosis in individuals living in fishing villages located on two small islands.
Individuals who had resided in fishing villages located on two small islands in Korea were included. Inspection and a questionnaire survey were performed, and clinical assessment and mycological identification using polymerase chain reaction were performed for those diagnosed with onychomycosis on inspection.
Among the 43 subjects enrolled, 32 (74.4%) were clinically diagnosed with onychomycosis. Causative organisms were identified in 23 (53.5%) subjects, and the most common identified causative strain was Trichophyton rubrum (91.3%), followed by Trichophyton species (4.3%) and Candida species (4.3%). Distal and lateral subungual onychomycosis was the most common clinical type (78.1%), followed by total dystrophic onychomycosis (12.5%). In 10 subjects (31.3%), five or more nails were affected. Among the patients who received treatment for onychomycosis (n = 19), 66.7% had used only conventional topical agents.
Onychomycosis is more prevalent and more severe in people living in fishing villages than in the general population. These findings suggest that environmental or occupational background should be considered in managing onychomycosis.


Fishing village; Onychomycosis; Trichophyton rubrum
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