Skin colonization with Malassezia

A great variation in the density and presence in various skin locations has been reported. Highest concentrations were found on the scalp and the upper trunk, lowest on the hands.5 The density of Malassezia yeasts decreases with increasing age; on the other hand the number of yeast cells is larger in adults compared to children.6,7

The colonization of the skin with Malassezia was analysed in 112 individuals suffering from seborrhoeic dermatitis (20 of 39 were HIV-positive patients), pityriasis versicolor (18 patients), AD (18 patients), and 37 control patients without dermatological lesions. M. globosa was the most common species, isolated from 37.5% of the investigated individuals, followed by M. sympodi-alis in 31.3%, and M. furfur in 31.3%. In patients with pityriasis versicolor and in HIV-positive patients M. globosa was predominant in 67% and 85% of the cases. In non-HIV patients with AD or seborrhoeic dermatitis, M. furfur and M. restricta were isolated in 72% and 26% of the cases, respectively. It has been concluded that Malassezia species were present on the skin of patients with and without dermatological diseases. Malassezia globosa especially was found in a high frequency on the skin of patients with dermatological disorders suggesting a higher pathogenicity of this species.8

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