Comparison of Malassezia spp. Proportions in inflammatory and noninflammatory facial acne vulgaris lesions

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Objective: The skin microbiome plays a role in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris (AV). Among other species, Malassezia spp. can be found in the pilosebaceous follicle. However, its role on the pathogenesis of AV has not yet been described. The objective of this study was to identify the presence and the distribution of Malassezia spp. in facial AV lesions and also to compare the distribution of Malassezia spp. between inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesions. Methods: One hundred and twenty subjects were allocated into two groups: inflammatory lesions and non-inflammatory lesions. Samples were taken from hair follicles and examined by microscopy using 20% potassium hydroxide and Parker ink and cultured for species identification. Results: There was no difference in the spore load between the two groups (p=0.142). Malassezia spp. were isolated from 64.2% of subjects and consisted of M. dermatis (43%), M. sympodialis (18%), M. slooffiae (16%), M. japonica (5%), M. furfur (5%), M. pachydermatis (3%), and M. restricta (1%). There was a higher Malassezia spp. proportion in non-inflammatory lesions (p=0.019). The predominant species in inflammatory AV lesions was M. dermatis (45,8%), followed by M. sympodialis (17.1%), and M. slooffiae (11.4%). Conclusion: Malassezia spp. were found in facial acne lesions. M. dermatis was the predominant species found in facial AV, followed by M. sympodialis, and M. slooffiae. A higher proportion of Malassezia spp. was found in non-inflammatory lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-11
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Pharmaceutics
Issue numberSpecial Issue 3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Acne lesion
  • Malassezia spp
  • Skin microbiome


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