The expansion of the genus Malassezia has generated interest in the epidemiological investigation of the distribution of new species in a range of dermatoses, on which variable results have been reported from different geographical regions. No data are thus far available from South-east Europe (Greece).Objectives
To study the distribution of Malassezia species in pityriasis versicolor (PV) and seborrhoeic dermatitis (SD) and to investigate whether polymorphisms in the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) 1 region facilitate detection of M. globosa and M. sympodialis subtypes.Methods
In total, 109 patients with PV and SD and positive Malassezia cultures were included in the study. Age, gender, primary/recurrent episode, disease extent and clinical form of PV were recorded. ITS 1 polymorphisms of M. globosa and M. sympodialis type and clinical strains were investigated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)–single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) analysis.Results
Malassezia globosa was the prevalent species isolated from PV and SD either alone (77% and 39%, respectively) or in combination (13% and 18%, respectively) with other Malassezia species. The pigmented form of PV was strongly correlated with the female gender. PCR–SSCP differentiated five subgroups of M. globosa with one being associated with extensive clinical disease. All M. sympodialis isolates displayed a homogeneous ITS 1 PCR–SSCP profile.Conclusions
Malassezia species isolation rates were in agreement with those reported from South-west Europe. PCR–SSCP of the ITS 1 is useful for highlighting prospective clinical implications of M. globosa subtypes.