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Acta Derm Venereol. 2005;85(1):17-23.

The prevalence of Malassezia yeasts in patients with atopic dermatitis, seborrhoeic dermatitis and healthy controls.

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Department of Dermatology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.


Cultures for Malassezia yeasts were taken from both normal-looking skin and lesional skin in 124 patients with atopic dermatitis, 16 patients with seborrhoeic dermatitis and from normal skin of 31 healthy controls. Positive Malassezia growth was found in fewer patients with atopic dermatitis (56%) than in patients with seborrhoeic dermatitis (88%) or in healthy controls (84%, p<0.01). In the patients with atopic dermatitis, fewer positive cultures were found in lesional (28%) than in non-lesional skin (44%, p<0.05), while positive cultures were found in 75% of both lesional and non-lesional skin of patients with seborrhoeic dermatitis (not significant). M. sympodialis dominated in patients with atopic dermatitis (46%) and in healthy controls (69%). In patients with seborrhoeic dermatitis both M. sympodialis and M. obtusa were cultured in 43%. A Malassezia species extract mixture would increase the possibility of detecting IgE sensitization to Malassezia in patients with atopic dermatitis.

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