First US case of sexually transmitted ringworm reported in NYC man



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  • A new report by doctors at New York University’s Langone Health in JAMA Dermatology details the first reported case in the United States of a sexually transmitted fungal infection.

  • The report talks about a man in his 30s who developed tinea, commonly known as ringworm, on his penis, buttocks and limbs after returning home to New York City from visiting England, Greece, and California.

  • While this has not been found before in the United States, the “sexually transmitted form of ringworm” has been increasingly diagnosed throughout Europe.

(NewsNation) — Experts are warning health care providers to watch out for new and “highly contagious” forms of ringworm.

This comes after the publication of a new report by doctors at New York University’s Langone Health in JAMA Dermatology detailing the first reported case in the United States of a sexually transmitted fungal infection.

The report talks about a man in his 30s who developed tinea, commonly known as ringworm, on his penis, buttocks and limbs after returning home to New York City from visiting England, Greece, and California. Genetic tests of fungal samples collected from the man’s rashes showed the infection was caused by Trichophyton mentagrophytes type VII (TMVII).

While this has not been found before in the United States, the “sexually transmitted form of ringworm” has been increasingly diagnosed throughout Europe, according to the report. In 2023, there were 13 instances recorded, mostly involving men who had sex with another man. However, the man who the study is about said though he had multiple male partners, none of them reported similar issues.

“Healthcare providers should be aware that Trichophyton mentagrophytes type VII is the latest in a group of severe skin infections to have now reached the United States,” the study’s lead author, Avrom S. Caplan, an assistant professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, said in a statement.

John Zampella, another professor and one of the study’s senior authors, noted that infections caused by TMVII can be difficult to treat and can even take months to clear up. However, he said, they do appear to respond to standard antifungal therapies, such as terbinafine.

“Since patients are often reluctant to discuss genital problems, physicians need to directly ask about rashes around the groin and buttocks, especially for those who are sexually active, have recently traveled abroad, and report itchy areas elsewhere on the body,” Zampella added.

Caplan said in a New York Post article that the scientist’s goal in writing the study is to raise awareness of the infection.

“The first thing to note is that we do not have evidence this infection is endemic in the US or even widespread in the US,” Caplan, who led the study of the man’s case, told the Post.



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