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Indian J Med Microbiol. 2004 Jul-Sep;22(3):179-81.

Identification of Malassezia species.

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Department of Microbiology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Porur, Chennai - 600 116, Tamil Nadu, India.


Malassezia spp. are lipophilic unipolar yeasts recognized as commensals of skin that may be pathogenic under certain conditions. The genus Malassezia now comprises of seven species. This study was aimed at using a simple practical approach to speciate Malassezia yeasts from clinical material. Seventy skin scrapings from patients with pityriasis versicolor infection, positive in 10% potassium hydroxide (KOH), were cultured onto modified Dixon's agar (mDixon's agar) and Sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA) and incubated at 32 degrees C. Speciation was done on the basis of Gram stain morphology, catalase test, and utilization of Tweens. Out of 70 scrapings 48 (68.75%) showed growth on mDixon's agar. The commonest isolate was M. sympodialis (28, 58%) followed by M. globosa (19, 40%) and one isolate was (2%) of M. restricta. M. sympodialis was the commonest species affecting our population and there was no isolation of M. obtusa, M. slooffiae, M. pachydermatis and M. furfur.

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