The Global Epidemiology of Impetigo: A Systematic Review of the Population Prevalence of Impetigo and Pyoderma

Asha Bowen, Antoine Mahé, Roderick Hay, Ross Andrews, Andrew Steer, Steven Tong, Jonathan Carapetis

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Objective: We conducted a comprehensive, systematic review of the global childhood population prevalence of impetigo and the broader condition pyoderma.

Methods: PubMed was systematically searched for impetigo or pyoderma studies published between January 1 1970 and September 30 2014. Two independent reviewers extracted data from each relevant article on the prevalence of impetigo.

Findings: Sixty-six articles relating to 89 studies met our inclusion criteria. Based on population surveillance, 82 studies included data on 145,028 children assessed for pyoderma or impetigo. Median childhood prevalence was 12-3% (IQR 4-2-19-4%). Fifty-eight (65%) studies were from low or low-middle income countries, where median childhood prevalences were 8-4% (IQR 4-2-16-1%) and 14-5% (IQR 8-3-20-9%), respectively. However, the highest burden was seen in underprivileged children from marginalised communities of high-income countries; median prevalence 19-4%, (IQR 3-9-43-3%).

Conclusion: Based on data from studies published since 2000 from low and low-middle income countries, we estimate the global population of children suffering from impetigo at any one time to be in excess of 162 million, predominantly in tropical, resource-poor contexts. Impetigo is an under-recognised disease and in conjunction with scabies, comprises a major childhood dermatological condition with potential lifelong consequences if untreated. Copyright: � 2015 Bowen et al.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0136789
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS One
Issue number8 e0136789
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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