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Vet J. 2006 Nov;172(3):544-8. Epub 2005 Sep 12.

Malassezia pachydermatis isolated from normal and diseased external ear canals in dogs: a comparative analysis.

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Faculty of Veterinary, Post-Graduation Program in Veterinary Science, State University of Ceará, Fortaleza-CE, Brazil.


To investigate the role of Malassezia pachydermatis as a pathogenic agent in canine otitis, a comparative analysis of isolates from normal and diseased external ear canals in dogs was undertaken. Specimens were collected from the ears of dogs with unilateral or bilateral otitis and from healthy dogs. Mycological analysis was by direct microscopy and fungal culture on Sabouraud's dextrose agar and Dixon's agar. Of the otitis specimens, 63.7% showed typical Malassezia cells on cytological examination. In samples taken from the healthy ears of dogs with unilateral otitis, only 21.43% (P<0.05) showed evidence of Malassezia. M. pachydermatis was identified cytologically and culturally in 57.53% (P<0.05), 14.29% and 30.0% of samples from the ears of dogs with otitis, from the healthy ears of dogs with unilateral otitis and from the ears of healthy dogs with no otitis. In the group with otitis associated with M. pachydermatis, the poodle was the most common breed (39.29%; P<0.05), whereas in the group without otitis, the German Shepherd breed was prominent (although this observation was not statistically significant). In both groups, the majority of dogs with M. pachydermatis were aged between 1 and 3 years (P<0.05). The higher incidence of M. pachydermatis isolated from the ears of dogs with otitis externa suggests a putative pathogenic role of this yeast in this condition.

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