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FEMS Yeast Res. 2008 May;8(3):460-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1567-1364.2008.00359.x. Epub 2008 Feb 20.

Analysis of Malassezia microbiota in healthy superficial human skin and in psoriatic lesions by multiplex real-time PCR.

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Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, NY 10016, USA.


Yeasts from the genus Malassezia are members of the normal biota of human skin, and may play a role in dermatopathology. Our previous study of the fungal microbiota from healthy subjects and from patients with psoriasis using clone library analysis revealed the presence of five Malassezia species and four uncharacterized phylotypes. We now compared the Malassezia microbiota from six healthy body locations and two psoriatic lesions, and evaluated its stability over time using multiplex real-time PCR. Samples from each body location were obtained monthly, for 4 months. Dual-labeled probes were designed to recognize four Malassezia sp. and two uncharacterized groups, and a genus-specific probe was also developed. A good correspondence was obtained between real-time PCR data and clone library analyses. Malassezia restricta was the most abundant species in the majority of samples, and high amounts of Malassezia globosa were also detected. The uncharacterized phylotype 1 was usually detected in lower proportions, nevertheless it was present in most samples. The microbiota was host-specific and relatively stable over time. In accordance with our previous observations, no significant dichotomy between samples from healthy skin and from psoriatic lesions was found; the samples clustered according to the subject, rather than health status.

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