Malassezia furfur

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Microsporon furfur; oval pityrosporon; Pityrosporon orbiculare

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Obligatory lipophilic fungus named after the French physician Louis-Charles Malassez, one of the yeasts, with oval, often doubly contoured spores and short hyphae. Malassezia furfur, formerly described as the only pathogen causing pityriasis versicolor and pityrosporum folliculitis, is the mycelium-forming form of the yeast P. ovale. Like 14 other species it belongs to the genus Malassezia.

New data indicate that M. furfur is rather rare and M. globosa much more frequent (> 90%) as a pathogen of pityriasis versicolor. S.a.u. Pityrosporum.

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Malazessia furfur is able to influence skin pigmentation via the malassezin, a natural ligand of the AhR ( arylhydrocarbon receptor).

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  1. Crespo Erchiga V et al (2000) Malazessia globosa as the causative agent of pityriasis versicolor. Br J Dermatol 143: 799-803
  2. Gaitanis G et al (2006) Distribution of Malazessia species in pityriasis versicolor and seborrhoic dermatitis in Greece. Typing of the major pityriasis versicolor isolate M. globosa. Br J Dermatol 154: 854-859
  3. Mota R et al (2015) Malassezia folliculitis in an immunocompromised patient. Dermatologist 62: 725-727


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Last updated on: 29.10.2020