Objective: To study the frequency and diversity of fungi involved in onychomycosis.
Method: The cross-sectional study was conducted from February 2018 to February 2019 at the Department of Microbiology, Basic Medical Sciences Institute, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi, and the University of Karachi. Specimens were taken from patients suffering with onychomycosis attending the Dermatology Department of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and were processed for the isolation of fungi. Specimens were processed for the diagnosis by potassium hydroxide mount for microscopic evaluation and mycological culture to determine the type of fungus involved in onychomycosis. Fungi were isolated using Sabouraud Dextrose Agar with antibiotics cycloheximide and chloramphenicol, and without antibiotics. Plates were observed for the growth periodically until 4th week. Appearance of any colony was studied further for identification on the basis of cultural characteristics and microscopy. Precise identification of Candida species was done.
Results: Of the 230 samples, 85(36.96%) were from males and 145(63.04%) from females. Potassium hydroxide mount showed fungal element in 134(58.26%) specimens, while in 111(48.26%) patients the fungal culture was positive. Nine (3.9%) cases were culture-positive but potassium hydroxide-negative, while among the 134(58.26%) potassium hydroxide-positive cases, 32(23.9%) were culture-negative.
Key Words: Candida, Dermatophytes, Fungal infections of nail, KOH mount, Non-dermatophyte molds, Onychomycosis, Tinea unguium.