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Mycoses. 2007 Jan;50(1):58-63.

Malassezia species isolated from lesional and non-lesional skin in patients with pityriasis versicolor.

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Department of Dermatovenerology, University Clinical Center, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Pityriasis versicolor (PV) is a superficial fungal infection where Malassezia species play a definite causative role, but the clinical significance of each of these species is not fully understood. The aim of our study was to analyse the prevalence of Malassezia species in PV lesions and to examine if the range of species varies with patient sex, age, direct microscopy findings and some clinical data. Ninety patients with PV completed the study. The samples were obtained by scraping the skin surface, both from lesional and non-lesional skin and then incubated on Sabouraud dextrose agar and modified Dixon agar. The yeast isolated were identified according to their macroscopic and microscoipic features and physiological characteristics. In PV lesions, the most common species was M. globosa (63%), followed by M. sympodialis (14%), M. furfur (10%), M. obtusa (8%) and M. slooffiae (4%). The most frequently isolated species from clinically healthy skin were M. globosa (49%), M. sympodialis (37%) and M. furfur (5%). We found significant difference in the distribution of Malassezia species between lesional and non-lesional skin and in the distribution of Malassezia species according to the direct microscopy findings. M. globosa in its mycelial phase is the predominant species involved in the aetiology of PV.

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