First Ever Case of Fungal STD Detected in the U.S.

Gloved hand holding bacteria growing in a petri dish

As the first case of STD ringworm in the United States has been recorded, medical professionals are cautioning medical professionals and the general public about a rare and highly infectious fungus strain.

A man from New York City has contracted a type of ringworm that is transmitted through intimate contact. According to experts, this is the first incidence of its kind in the United States.

Medical professionals are being alerted by health authorities about a very infectious fungal skin illness known as Trichophyton mentagrophytes type VII (TMVII).

The first instance was a guy in his 30s from New York City who, after reporting having intercourse with males in California and abroad in England and Greece, had (tinea) ringworm on his genitalia, buttocks, and extremities.

Testing revealed that the man had caught the unusual fungus after returning home; he had an itchy red rash on his buttocks, genitalia, and groin, as described in the case report.

Avrom S. Caplan, an assistant professor in the dermatology department at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, described the illness as a rare manifestation of dermatophytosis affecting the genitals and pubic region.

 It is an uncommon case.

In recent years, a growing number of cases of male genital dermatophytosis, sometimes called ringworm or tinea, have been documented in India. The research suggests that this condition is impacted by factors such as weather, personal cleanliness, and bathing practices.

The fungus that causes this infection is related to the ones that cause ringworm and athlete’s foot, but instead of little circles, the rash might look like lesions or eczema.

Caplan warned that despite medical intervention, the infection can take “months” to heal once established.

A growing number of cases of this STD have been documented across Europe, including 13 cases in France in 2023, primarily in males who engage in intercourse with other men.

Since this fungus causes ringworm infections and is not always sensitive to the first-line oral antifungal terbinafine, the study suggests it poses a growing risk to public health.

Some of the symptoms of TMVII are:

-Severe itchiness

-Reddened skin patterns

-Difficulty with hair and nails

-Athlete’s foot