Revista argentina de microbiología
versión On-line ISSN 1851-7617
GIUSIANO, Gustavo E.. Malassezia: Current knowledge and study perspectives. Rev. argent. microbiol. [online]. 2006, vol.38, n.1, pp. 41-48. ISSN 1851-7617.
The study of Malassezia has been postponed for many years due to its nutritional requirements and its morphological variability. Molecular biology methods led to a taxonomic revision of this genus and to a new interest for its clinical importance. Nowadays, 11 Malassezia species are known, 10 are lipophilic, having similar morphological, physiological and biochemical characteristics, therefore, conventional techniques are not useful to differentiating them. Molecular methods are an accurate tool in the identification and they lead to a better knowledge of the ecology and epidemiology of this genus. Noteworthy antifungal susceptibility variations have been observed in some species, although there is not a standard method for these yeasts. There are few data about their biochemical characteristics, and the enzymes they produce might be important virulence factors, favouring host tissue invasion. Malassezia has been recognised as a member of the normal human and animal skin. Its implication in pathologic processes, including skin diseases to systemic infections, is the main issue in current investigations in order to determine the real pathogenic role of these yeasts.
Palabras clave : Malassezia; taxonomy; physiology; morphology; pathogenicity; diagnostic.