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Open Access Research article

A laboratory-based study on patients with Parkinson’s disease and seborrheic dermatitis: the presence and density of Malassezia yeasts, their different species and enzymes production

Valentina S Arsic Arsenijevic1*, Danica Milobratovic2, Aleksandra M Barac1, Berislav Vekic3, Jelena Marinkovic4 and Vladimir S Kostic5

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Belgrade Medical School, Dr Subotica 1, Belgrade, Serbia

2 Department of Dermatology, Dermatology Unit, Clinical Center of Serbia; Military Medical Centre, Belgrade, Serbia

3 Management School, Alfa University, Belgrade, Serbia

4 Institutes for Statistics and Medical Informatics, University of Belgrade School of Medicine, Belgrade, Serbia

5 Institute of Neurology Clinical Centre of Serbia, University of Belgrade, School of Medicine, Belgrade, Serbia

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BMC Dermatology 2014, 14:5  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-14-5

Published: 14 March 2014

Abstract

Background

Seborrheic dermatitis (SD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are frequently associated conditions. Aims of this study were: to determine severity of SD, presence of different species and density of Malassezia yeasts; to assess yeast lipases and phosphatases production in vitro and to compare these results between SD patients with and without PD.

Methods

This case–control prospective study was conducted at the Dermatology and Neurology Units, Clinical Centre of Serbia and at the National Medical Mycology Reference Laboratory, University of Belgrade Medical School, Serbia. A total of 90 patients and 70 healthy controls (HC) were investigated: 60 patients with SD (SDN) and 30 patients with SD and PD (SDP). Culture-based mycological examination was carried out on lesional skin (LS) and non-lesional skin (NLS). A yeasts density was determined by counting the Malassezia colony forming units per tape (CFU/tape). Enzymes production by isolated Malassezia was investigated.

Results

The most patients with SD were male (76.7%; SDP and 63.3%; SDN) and the intensity of SD was dominantly severe or moderate (76.7%; SDP and 75%; SDN). The presence of Malasseziа was high on LS in both groups (87.3%; SDP and 86.7%; SDN) (p=0.667).

The highest yeasts density (mean CFU/tape=67.8) was detected on LS in 53% of SDP group and in 21.7% of SDN group (mean CFU/tape=31.9) (p < 0.01). The presence of negative cultures was lower in SDP group (13.3%) in comparison to HC and SDN groups (37% and 31.7%, respectively). Malassezia density on NLS in SDP group (mean CFU/tape=44.3) was significantly higher in comparison to SDN and HC (p=0.018). M. globosa was the most abundant species identified amongst isolates from the SDP group (42.3%) and exhibited high production of phosphatase and lipase in vitro.

Conclusion

From this laboratory-based study a positive correlation between SD, PD, M. globosa incidence, high yeast density and high phosphatase and lipase activity was established. Our data lead to conclusion that local skin performance of PD patient’s characterized with increased sebum excretion ratio play a role in SD by stimulation of yeasts replication and enzyme production.

Keywords:
Seborrheic dermatitis; Parkinson’s disease; Malassezia species; Colony forming units; Enzymes