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March 1946


Arch Derm Syphilol. 1946;53(3):243-248. doi:10.1001/archderm.1946.01510320033005

THE FIRST description of tinea imbricata, or tokelau, dates from the year 1686 when William Dampier,1 in a record of his voyages, referred to a scaling cutaneous disease encountered in the Philippines, Mindanao, the Marianas and Guam. It was subsequently observed in the islands of the Pacific by Entrecasteux (1780),2 Alibert (1832),3 Meerderwoort (1839),4 Fox (1844)5 and Turner (1869).6 The disease was not known in the Tokelau Islands until 1869, when it was introduced from the Gilberts.

In 1874 Tilbury Fox7 demonstrated fungi in the squames, and the observation was confirmed in 1878 by Königer.8 Manson (1879)9 differentiated tokelau from herpes circinatus. Sabouraud10 asserted that it was caused by Trichophyton. Many of the early attempts to culture the fungus failed, however, and led to the erroneous conclusion that it was a species of Aspergillus.

Tokelau was probably