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Open Access Research article

Study of the distribution of Malassezia species in patients with pityriasis versicolor and healthy individuals in Tehran, Iran

Bita Tarazooie1, Parivash Kordbacheh1, Farideh Zaini1, Kamiar Zomorodian1*, Farshid Saadat2, Hojjat Zeraati3, Zahra Hallaji4 and Sassan Rezaie1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Mycology & Parasitology, School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Immunology, School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Bio-statistics, School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Dermatology, Razi University Hospital, Tehran, Iran

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BMC Dermatology 2004, 4:5  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-4-5

Published: 1 May 2004

Abstract

Background

Pityriasis versicolor is a superficial infection of the stratum corneum which caused by a group of yeasts formerly named pityrosporium. The taxonomy of these lipophilic yeasts has recently been modified and includes seven species referred as Malassezia. The aim of this study is to compare the distribution of Malassezia species isolated from pityriasis versicolor lesions and those isolated from healthy skins.

Methods

Differentiation of all malassezia species performed using morphological features and physiological test including catalase reaction, Tween assimilation test and splitting of esculin.

Results

In pityriasis versicolor lesions, the most frequently isolated species was M. globosa (53.3%), followed by M. furfur (25.3%), M. sympodialis(9.3%), M. obtusa (8.1%) and M. slooffiae (4.0%). The most frequently isolated species in the skin of healthy individuals were M. globosa, M. sympodialis, M. furfur, M. sloofiae and M. restricta which respectively made up 41.7%, 25.0%, 23.3%, 6.7% and 3.3% of the isolated species.

Conclusions

According to our data, M. globosa was the most prevalent species in the skin of healthy individuals which recovered only in the yeast form. However, the Mycelial form of M. globosa was isolated as the dominant species from pityriasis versicolor lesions. Therefore, the role of predisposing factors in the conversion of this yeast to mycelium and its subsequent involvement in pityriasis versicolor pathogenicity should be considered.

Keywords:
pityriasis versicolor; Malassezia species; healthy skin