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Rev Iberoam Micol. 2010 Jun 30;27(2):71-4. doi: 10.1016/j.riam.2009.12.005. Epub 2010 Mar 24.

Prevalence of Malassezia species in pityriasis versicolor lesions in northeast Argentina.

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Departamento MicologĂ­a, Instituto de Medicina Regional, Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, Resistencia, Argentina.



Malassezia species normally colonize the skin but they can change their saprophytic state and invade the stratum corneum as pathogens.


To determine the prevalence of Malassezia species isolated from patients with pityriasis versicolor (PV) and to analyse their distribution according to the location of the lesion on the body.


This study included 218 patients with PV and positive Malassezia cultures who resided in the city of Resistencia, a subtropical area located in northeast Argentina. Age, gender, and the body site of lesions were recorded. Strains were identified by PCR-RFLP.


Malassezia sympodialis (37.7%) and Malassezia globosa (37.2%) were the most prevalent species isolated alone or in association with other Malassezia species in 82% of the patients. Malassezia furfur (21.3%) was the third most common species, followed by Malassezia slooffiae (1.7%), and Malassezia restricta (1.3%), which was found only in combination with M. globosa and M. sympodialis. Malassezia dermatis (0.4%) and Malassezia pachydermatis (0.4%) were each isolated once. None of the species affected a body site with statistical significance. Significant difference between genders according to age was found only in the 31-40-year-age group.


This study suggests that M. sympodialis and M. globosa represent the main species implicated in the pathogenicity of PV. M. furfur appears to be the third agent of importance in this geographical area. Statistical analyses showed none of the species was particularly associated with any one of the body sites.

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