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Med Mycol. 2010 Dec;48(8):1034-8. doi: 10.3109/13693786.2010.490568. Epub 2010 May 28.

Genetic polymorphism of Malassezia furfur isolates from Han and Tibetan ethnic groups in China using DNA fingerprinting.

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  • 1Department of Dermatovenerology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, P. R. China.


Reported isolation rates of Malassezia yeast from human skin show geographic variations. In China, the populations of the Han (1,182.95 million) and Tibetan (5.41 million) ethnic groups are distributed over 9.6 and 3.27 million square kilometers respectively, making biodiversity research feasible and convenient. Malassezia furfur clinical strains (n = 29) isolated from different individuals, with or without associated dermatoses, of these two ethnic groups (15 Han and 12 Tibetan) were identified and analyzed with DNA fingerprinting using single primers specific to minisatellites. Using the Bionumerics software, we found that almost all M. furfur clinical isolates and type strains formed five distinct group clusters according to their associated skin diseases and the ethnic groups of the patients. These findings are the first to focus on the genetic diversity and relatedness of M. furfur in the Tibetan and Han ethnic groups in China and reveal genetic variation associated with related diseases, host ethnicity and geographic origin.

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