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Mycoses. 2006 Sep;49(5):388-92.

Pityriacitrin--a potent UV filter produced by Malassezia furfur and its effect on human skin microflora.

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Department of Dermatology and Andrology, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Gaffykstrasse 14, 35385 Giessen, Germany.


In Malassezia furfur, tryptophan as the main nitrogen source induces production of the potent ultraviolet-absorbing indole compound pityriacitrin. An in vitro study about the effects of pityriacitrin on other human skin microorganisms is presented, with special focus on Candida albicans and staphylococci in which its toxicity and UV-protective capacity were investigated. Candida albicans was irradiated with UVB light either in the presence or in the absence of pityriacitrin (11 mmol) and the growth rate was determined. A UVB dose of 1 J cm(-2) caused death of the fungi without pityriacitrin, whereas those in the presence of pityriacitrin showed almost unaffected growth. A diffusion test in staphylococci revealed no antibiotic effects of pityriacitrin. For testing of an ultraviolet-protective effect, staphylococci were either inoculated and irradiated in a plate model for visual assessment of growth or inoculated and irradiated in square quartz cylinders for quantitative measurement of cell density, each time in the absence or presence of pityriacitrin. Cell density of the bacterial suspensions exhibited nearly no influence of pityriacitrin on growth rates, while again a UV-protective effect was observed. In summary, pityriacitrin has an ultraviolet-protective effect on Candida albicans and staphylococci with no toxicity in the range tested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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