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Athlete's Foot, Toe Fungus a Family Affair

Household study confirms these infections spread person-to-person

FRIDAY, Sept. 29, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- A new study confirms the long-held belief that toenail fungus and athlete's foot can spread from person to person.

Researchers used advanced molecular biology techniques to test the members of 57 families and concluded that toenail fungus and athlete's foot can infect people living in the same household.

While it's long been believed that toenail fungus and athlete's foot can spread from person to person, there's been a lack of scientific evidence to support this notion, according to the researchers.

They said their results suggest that these infections should be aggressively treated in order to prevent their spread.

The findings were presented Friday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Microbiology, in San Francisco.

The study, conducted at five centers and led by the University Hospitals of Cleveland, received funding from drug maker Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

The researchers said the study suggests further areas of investigation, including determining why some family members became infected while others did not, and why the infections only spread within some of the families in the study.

More information

The American Podiatric Medical Association has more about athlete's foot.

SOURCE: American Society for Microbiology, news release, Sept. 29, 2006
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