Chromoblastomycosis is a chronic disease caused by melanized fungi that mainly affect individuals performing soil-related labour. The objective of this study was to analyse the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of chromoblastomycosis in Latin America and the Caribbean by an extensive literature review. An integrative review was performed of English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish publications in LILACS, SciELO, PubMed, SCOPUS and Web of Science databases covering the period 1969-2019. A total of 1,211 articles were identified, of which 132 were included in the review, covering 2,081 patients, 80.3% were male, the mean age was 56.1 years. The mean duration of the disease was 10.8 years. The lesions were mainly described in the lower limbs (60%). The most frequent clinical forms were verrucous (46.4%) and tumorous (21.7%). Major disease symptoms and signs consisted of itching and pain. Bacterial infection and functional limitation were important complications. Immunosuppression post-kidney transplantation was the most frequent comorbidity while leprosy was the main concomitant infectious disease. Fonsecaea pedrosoi and Cladophialophora carrionii were the predominant etiological agents. Majority of the cured cases were treated with itraconazole as monotherapy or in combination with other antifungals, surgery or cryosurgery. Chromoblastomycosis affects hundreds of rural workers in Latin America and the Caribbean, causing disability and personal, family and economic losses. It is important to prioritize epidemiological surveillance and early diagnosis of this disease in order to reveal its real prevalence and direct resources to preventive actions, diagnosis and early treatment.
LAY SUMMARY: Chromoblastomycosis is a slowly progressing chronic disease caused by melanized fungi. We collected data from South America and the Caribbean covering 1969-2019, the 132 articles included 2 081 patients, mean disease duration was 10.8 years. Fonsecaea pedrosoi and Cladophialophora carrionii predominated.