[Skip to Navigation]
November 1977

Contaminated Fungal Cultures Owing to Tyrophagus putrescentiae

Author Affiliations

Portland, Ore

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(11):1614-1615. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640110134044

To the Editor.—  Acarodermatitis is an occupational disorder caused by the stored-food mites of the families Tyroglyphidae and Pyemotidae. These normally nonpathogenic mites do occasionally cause skin irritations (cheese mite dermatitis, fig mite dermatitis, copra itch, grain itch, grocer's itch), which may become extremely severe, but are self-limited and never transmitted from person to person.1-4Recently, one of these mites, Tyrophagus putrescentiae, was identified as the cause of our continuing failure to successfully culture dermatophytes from several of our private patients. Fungal cultures that originally appeared normal, rapidly and at an early stage, changed their appearance to that of gross bacterial contamination. Microscopic examination of these contaminated specimens demonstrated myriads of mites, which were subsequently identified as T putrescentiae. All existing cultures within our offices and all old cultures within the clinical laboratory's teaching collection were discarded. Working areas were decontaminated with gamma-benzene hexachloride spray. Lindane crystals were added to

Add or change institution