Malassezia folliculitis [MF] is caused by the invasion of hair follicles by large numbers of Malassezia cells, but it remains unclear which Malassezia species are involved in the disease. To clarify this situation, Malassezia species isolated from lesions of MF patients were analyzed by both culture and non-culture methods. In addition, Malassezia species recovered from the non-lesion areas of the skin of MF patients and skin samples of healthy subjects were included in this study. The test population consisted of 32 MF patients and 40 healthy individuals. The lesions were obtained using a comedone extractor, while swabs were employed to obtain skin samples from non-lesion areas of the patients and healthy subjects. Malassezia DNA was analyzed using a real-time PCR technique. The detection limit of the culture method was 5 CFU/cm 2 as opposes 50 cells/cm 2 with non-culture procedures. The predominant species recovered from MF lesions were M. globosa and M. sympodialis by culture method analysis, and M. restricta, M. globosa, and M. sympodialis with non-culture methods. These results were in agreement with those found with samples from non-lesion skin areas of MF patients and healthy subjects. This study clarified that MF is caused by Malassezia species that are part of the cutaneous microflora and not by exogenous species.
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