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Mycoses. 1996 May-Jun;39(5-6):233-5.

Phospholipase activity in Malassezia furfur pathogenic strains.

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Institute of Microbiology, University of Catania, Italy.


The lipophilic dimorphic yeast Malassezia furfur is a common skin commensal and the aetiological agent of pityriasis versicolor. A source of lipids is essential for its growth, and there are already demonstrations of in vitro lipase and lipoxygenase production. In eight wild strains, isolated from patients with pityriasis versicolor, we showed a phospholipase activity using a medium containing egg yolk emulsion as the only source of lipids; in this medium M. furfur grows and produces a phospholipase zone. Adding manganese sulphate, an unspecific inhibitor of phospholipase activity, M. furfur does not grow, because the lipophilic fungus cannot utilize the egg yolk as a source of fatty acids. Adding Tween 60 to the same medium, M. furfur also grows in presence of manganese sulphate.

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