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Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2009 Jan-Mar;51(1):23-33.

Malassezia species and seborrheic dermatitis.

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Department of Dermatology and Venerology, Medical University, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.


Malassezia spp. are medically important dimorphic, lipophilic yeasts that form part of the normal cutaneous microflora of human. Seborrheic dermatitis is a multifactor disease that needs endogenous and exogenous predisposing factors for its development. Presence of these factors leads to reproduction of the saprophytic opportunistic pathogen Malassezia spp. and development of a disease. The inflammatory reaction against the yeast Malassezia is considered basic in the etiology of the seborrheic dermatitis. The pathogenesis and exact mechanisms via which these yeasts cause inflammation are still not fully elucidated. They are rather complex and subject of controversy in literature. Most probably Malassezia spp. cause seborrheic dermatitis by involving and combining both nonummune and immune mechanisms (nonspecific and specific). Which of these mechanisms will dominate in any single case depends on the number and virulence of the yeasts as well as on the microorganism reactivity. In the recent years a great interest have been aroused by the epidemiological investigations. Depending on the geographical place of the countries different Malassezia species in seborrheic dermatitis dominate in the different countries. In view of the etiology and pathogenesis of the seborrheic dermatitis comprehensive antifungal preparations have been recently introduced and are nowadays the basic therapeutic resource in the treatment of this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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