Trichophyton mentagrophytes type VII (TMVII) Information - Callen-Lorde

Trichophyton mentagrophytes type VII (TMVII) Information

In the wake of TMVII’s recent emergence in New York, Callen-Lorde providers are encouraging patients to be vigilant as they celebrate this summer. 

Don’t panic, but stay diligent 

You should still be able to enjoy summer parties–just be aware of what’s happening with your body. If you notice symptoms similar to ringworm or unexplained rashes, especially in the genital area, that aren’t going away with topical treatment or other medications, talk to your provider as soon as possible.

What is TMVII?

TMVII, a type of ringworm, is a fungal infection that is resistant to typical over-the-counter antifungal creams and the usual first-line treatments prescribed by medical providers. TMVII may be transmitted by sexual activity. A recent diagnosis of TMVII was made in a cisgender gay man in New York City. This was the first reported case in the United States following similar reports in Europe. 

TMVII can show up as an itchy and scaly rash that has the potential to form abscesses and scars. Anyone can be infected, but currently doctors are seeing cases primarily occur in men who have sex with men.

Fungal infections are  common and an individual infected with TMVII might not know it. Everyone, including medical providers, should consider this infection whenever fungal rashes in the genital area do not respond to usual first-line treatments.  

Complicated laboratory testing can confirm this infection, but these tests are not widely available to most medical professionals. Even without laboratory confirmation, medical professionals can make the diagnosis and prescribe treatment with a physical exam and context clues provided by the patient. 

How is TMVII treated?

The infection is resistant to common topical fungal treatments, but longer courses of stronger oral treatments prescribed by your provider should clear up symptoms.

More resources

Read Dr. Marcus Sandling’s advice in in Metro Weekly

CDC: Emerging infectious diseases