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Arch Dermatol. 1998 Aug;134(8):995-8.

Is common neonatal cephalic pustulosis (neonatal acne) triggered by Malassezia sympodialis?

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Pediatric Dermatology Unit, Hôpital Pellegrin-Enfants, Bordeaux, France.



A type of neonatal cephalic pustulosis that is clinically similar to classic neonatal acne recently has been linked to Malassezia furfur infection. To correlate the mycological and clinical findings in neonates with cephalic pustulosis, we carried out a prospective case-control study in a neonatal unit from February to April 1997 using new techniques for classifying Malassezia species.


Nineteen patients with cephalic pustulosis and 19 controls younger than 45 days were studied among 161 consecutively hospitalized infants. Cultures from swabs and smears of pustules were obtained from patients, and swabs from healthy site-matched skin were obtained from controls. Three patients were excluded from the study because another cause of pustulosis was found. A blank sampling of pustules was obtained from 2 patients. Test results for 6 of 16 patients were positive for Malassezia sympodialis on contralateral nonpustular skin, and 4 of those patients also had positive cultures for M sympodialis. Cultures from 6 to 19 controls were positive (4 for M furfur and 2 for M sympodialis). The prevalence of Malassezia species increased with age, and the severity of the pustulosis was correlated with the isolation of M sympodialis.


Our data suggest that M sympodialis triggers the severe form of common cephalic pustulosis in infants with this benign disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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