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Rev Iberoam Micol. 2007 Dec 31;24(4):278-82.

[Concordance between phenotypical features and PCR-REA for the identification of Malassezia spp].

[Article in Spanish]

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Departamento Micología INEI ANLIS. "Dr. Carlos G. Malbrán" A. Vélez Sarsfield 563, C1282AFF, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The genus Malassezia has been recently revised and nowadays includes 11 species that cannot always be differentiated from each other by physiological and morphological tests. This study was aimed to evaluate the correlation between a molecular method and conventional phenotypic features in the identification of Malassezia spp. To achieve this aim, 92 Argentinean clinical strains isolated between 2001 and 2005 were analyzed along with three reference strains (Malassezia furfur CBS 7019, Malassezia sympodialis CBS 7222 and Malassezia slooffiae CBS 7956). By using PCR and restriction enzyme analysis with three different DNA endonucleases (PCR-REA), the molecular method consistently identified all three reference strains and all 92 clinical isolates as follows: 63 M. sympodialis, 18 M. furfur, 10 Malassezia globosa and one Malassezia obtusa. Phenotypic studies undentified 85 clinical isolates and two of the reference strains (total agreement > 91%). In particular for M. sympodialis, M. furfur and M. globosa, the species more frequently involved in human pathology, the agreement ranged between 84 and 96%. This result suggests that phenotypic studies are suitable for the presumptive identification of important Malassezia species in the clinical medical mycology laboratories where molecular methodologies are not available.

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