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Clin Microbiol Rev. 2012 Jan;25(1):106-41. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00021-11.

The Malassezia genus in skin and systemic diseases.

Author information

1
Department of Skin and Venereal Diseases, University of Ioannina Medical School, Greece. ggaitan@cc.uoi.gr

Abstract

In the last 15 years, the genus Malassezia has been a topic of intense basic research on taxonomy, physiology, biochemistry, ecology, immunology, and metabolomics. Currently, the genus encompasses 14 species. The 1996 revision of the genus resulted in seven accepted taxa: M. furfur, M. pachydermatis, M. sympodialis, M. globosa, M. obtusa, M. restricta, and M. slooffiae. In the last decade, seven new taxa isolated from healthy and lesional human and animal skin have been accepted: M. dermatis, M. japonica, M. yamatoensis, M. nana, M. caprae, M. equina, and M. cuniculi. However, forthcoming multidisciplinary research is expected to show the etiopathological relationships between these new species and skin diseases. Hitherto, basic and clinical research has established etiological links between Malassezia yeasts, pityriasis versicolor, and sepsis of neonates and immunocompromised individuals. Their role in aggravating seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff, folliculitis, and onychomycosis, though often supported by histopathological evidence and favorable antifungal therapeutic outcomes, remains under investigation. A close association between skin and Malassezia IgE binding allergens in atopic eczema has been shown, while laboratory data support a role in psoriasis exacerbations. Finally, metabolomic research resulted in the proposal of a hypothesis on the contribution of Malassezia-synthesized aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) ligands to basal cell carcinoma through UV radiation-induced carcinogenesis.

PMID:
22232373
PMCID:
PMC3255962
DOI:
10.1128/CMR.00021-11
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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