First cases of treatment-resistant ringworm found in patients in US

First cases of treatment-resistant ringworm found in patients in US

Two cases of highly contagious, drug-resistant ringworm infection have been detected in the US.

The cases were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in February and shared in a report published on Thursday.

The patients, from New York City, had their first symptoms in 2021 and 2022.

One of the patients carrying the infection was identified as a 47-year-old woman who developed a bad case of ringworm – known as tinea – while traveling in Bangladesh.

A rash had developed across her thighs and buttocks and health officials reported that the severe tinea did not improve after antifungal creams were used.

The woman’s infection was caused by a relatively new species of ringworm-causing fungus called Trichophyton indotineae.

Dr Avrom Caplan, an assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, who treated the patient and was one of the report’s authors, told NBC News: “My radar went up immediately.”

After the woman returned to the US, she visited the hospital’s emergency ward three times for help. Doctors gave several treatments, typically used for ringworm, but there was no improvement by December.

After many attempts, doctors gave the woman a four-week course of griseofulvin therapy, typically used to treat skin infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm. But, doctors are still looking into other treatment options.

The woman’s son and husband, who live with her and have had similar rashes, are now undergoing evaluation.

Over the past decade, infections from this drug-resistant fungus have spread rapidly in South Asia, likely driven by overuse of medications to treat them, including topical antifungals and corticosteroids, the CDC report said.