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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a fungal disease of man and animals; one of the trichomycoses. The causative agents are fungi of the genus Trichophyton, which affect the skin, hair, and nails. Infection in man occurs through direct contact with an infected person or animal, or with infected objects. Children are most susceptible.

In superficial trichophytosis caused by androphilic fungi (those that are parasitic in man), round pink spots with raised edges and scales in the center appear on the skin. The scales contain numerous fungi. The hairs in foci on the scalp break off at the base and give the appearance of having been cut. The nails become a dirty gray color, lusterless, and uneven; their edges thicken and break easily. In man, deep trichophytosis is caused by zoophilic fungi (those that are parasitic in animals). The fungi penetrate into the deep layers of the skin, where they form inflammatory, suppurating nodules with surface crusts. When the nodules are squeezed, pus emerges from the follicular openings. The hair in the foci may fall out completely.

Treatment includes removal of the affected hairs and nails and use of the antibiotic griseofulvin. If smooth areas of the skin are affected, tincture of iodine and an ointment compounded of sulfur and tar are applied. Trichophytosis can be prevented by regular examination of children, isolation and treatment of affected persons, disinfection of objects with which they have come in contact, and veterinary inspection.


Mashkilleison, L. N. Infektsionnye iparazitarnye bolezni kozhi. Moscow, 1960.


All species of domestic, furbearing, and predatory animals are susceptible to trichophytosis. The disease affects mainly horses, cattle, and carnivorous animals; the young are most susceptible. Trichophytosis is reported in many countries with a well-developed livestock-breeding industry, which undergoes considerable economic loss from the disease. Infected animals are the source of the causative agent, which is spread by grooming and farm implements, clothing worn by farm workers, and feed infected by fungi. Mouselike rodents are reservoirs of the fungus. Infection takes place through injured skin. The causative agents present in scales and infected hair may remain viable for several years in places where animals are kept, in fodder, and on harnesses.

The incidence of the disease is highest in autumn and winter. Unsanitary quarters and inadequate feeding promote the spread of trichophytosis. The disease is chronic. The affected areas of skin undergo loss of hair; they are round or oval in shape and covered by ash gray crusts consisting of scales oily to the touch and similar in appearance to asbestos sheets. The animals lose weight and become listless. Their productivity is lowered and the young develop poorly.

The diagnosis of trichophytosis is based on clinical symptoms, epizootiological data, and the findings of laboratory tests of affected tissues. The disease may be prevented and controlled by observing hygienic regulations for the care and maintenance of animals. A farm is declared to be infected if the disease occurs. The measures then taken include the isolation and treatment of infected animals and the disinfection of stables, pastures, grooming and farm implements, and manure. In 1972 the world’s first effective vaccine against trichophytosis of cattle, TF-130, was developed by a group of Soviet scientists headed by A. Kh. Sarki-sov. It is now used for treatment and immunization.


Spesivtseva, N. A. Mikozy i mikotoksikozy, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1964.
Sarkisov, A. Kh. “Immunitet i spetsificheskaia profilaktika trikhofitii krupnogo rogatogo skota.” Vestnik sel’skokhoziaistvennoi nauki, 1973, no.11.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.