Quantification of Malassezia pachydermatis by real-time PCR in swabs from the external ear canal of dogs.
ABSTRACT: Malassezia pachydermatis is part of the normal microbiota of canine skin and external ear canal, and is also associated with otitis externa in dogs. Laboratory detection of Malassezia otitis relies on the presence of elevated numbers of the yeast on cytologic examination of otic exudate. Although cytology has high specificity, it has low sensitivity, resulting in false-negatives and posing a challenge for clinicians to accurately diagnose Malassezia otitis. We developed a quantitative PCR (qPCR) to detect and quantify M. pachydermatis yeasts and validate the method with swabs from external ear canals of dogs. Our qPCR uses the ?-tubulin gene, a single-copy gene, as a target. The limit of quantification was established as 0.18?ng/reaction, equivalent to 2.0 × 104 genome equivalents (gEq). Swabs from healthy dogs yielded quantification values of ?2.7 × 104?gEq in the qPCR, whereas swabs from dogs with otitis yielded quantification values of ?2.5 × 105?gEq. Our qPCR assay provides accurate quantification of M. pachydermatis yeasts from swab samples from dogs, is more sensitive than cytology, and could be used to monitor response to treatment. Our assay could also be valuable in a research setting to better understand the pathogenesis of M. pachydermatis.
Project description:Lipophilic yeasts of the genus Malassezia are important skin commensals and opportunistic skin pathogens in a variety of animals. The species M. pachydermatis was first isolated from the skin of a captive Indian rhinoceros with an exfoliative dermatitis in 1925, recognized as an important otic pathogen of dogs in the 1950's, and finally accepted, after several years of controversy, as a common cause of canine dermatitis in the 1990's. Since then, there has been considerable research into the biology of Malassezia yeasts and their interaction with their animal hosts. In dogs and cats, M. pachydermatis is associated with ceruminous otitis externa and a "seborrhoeic" dermatitis, wherein pruritic, erythematous skin lesions, often with brown/black greasy, malodourous material matting hairs, preferentially develop in intertriginous areas. Skin disease is favored by folds, underlying hypersensitivity disorders, endocrinopathies, defects of cornification, and in cats, various visceral paraneoplastic syndromes. Diagnosis is based on detecting the yeast in compatible skin lesions, usually by cytology, and observing a clinical and mycological response to therapy. Treatment normally comprises topical or systemic azole therapy, often with miconazole-chlorhexidine shampoos or oral itraconazole or ketoconazole. Management of concurrent diseases is important to minimize relapses. Historically, wild-type Malassezia isolates from dogs and cats were typically susceptible to azoles, with the exception of fluconazole, but emerging azole resistance in field strains has recently been associated with either mutations or quadruplication of the ERG11 gene. These observations have prompted increased interest in alternative topical antifungal drugs, such as chlorhexidine, and various essential oils. Further clinical trials are awaited with interest.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Malassezia species are commensals of normal skin microbial flora of humans and animals. These may become pathogenic under certain conditions such as those associated with atopic dermatitis or otitis externa in dogs. MATERIAL AND METHODS:Isolates of Malassezia pachydermatis were obtained from 27 dogs with healthy external ears and 32 dogs with otitis externa. Isolates were characterised on the basis of their first internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and internal spacer 1 (IGS1) sequences. Their extracellular lipase and phospholipase activity were also analysed. Three types of phospholipase inhibitor were used to identify the subclasses of phospholipase associated with otitis externa. RESULTS:The clinical isolates were classified into three ITS and three IGS1 sequence types. No significant differences in pathogenicity were detected among the ITS or IGS1 genotypes, and all of the isolates exhibited similar levels of lipase activity. The isolates derived from the dogs with otitis externa showed significantly higher phospholipase activity than those obtained from the dogs with healthy external ears. A phospholipase D inhibitor reduced the phospholipase activity of the isolates obtained from the dogs with otitis externa. CONCLUSIONS:This study did not show any significant differences in pathogenicity among the ITS or IGS1 genotypes but does suggest that phospholipase D might be one of the virulence factors involved in the inflammation of the external ear caused by M. pachydermatis.
Project description:The genus Malassezia includes lipophilic yeasts, which are part of the skin microbiota of various mammals and birds. Unlike the rest of Malassezia species, M. pachydermatis is described as non-lipid-dependent, as it is able to grow on Sabouraud glucose agar (SGA) without lipid supplementation. In this study we have examined the phenotypic variability within M. pachydermatis and confirmed its lipid-dependent nature using a synthetic agar medium. We used a selection of representative non-lipid-dependent strains from different animal species and three atypical lipid-dependent strains of this species, which were not able to grow after multiple passages on SGA. More than 400 lipid-dependent Malassezia isolates from animals were studied in order to detect the three lipid-dependent strains of M. pachydermatis. The identity of the atypical strains was confirmed by DNA sequencing. On the other hand, we have modified the Tween diffusion test, which is widely used in the characterization of these yeasts, by using a synthetic agar-based medium instead of SGA. This modification has proved to be useful for differentiation of M. pachydermatis strains, providing reproducible results and a straightforward interpretation. The finding of these peculiar lipid-dependent strains exemplifies the large variability within the species M. pachydermatis, which involves rare atypical strains with particular growth requirements.
Project description:Malassezia species are lipophilic and lipid-dependent yeasts belonging to the human and animal microbiota. Typically, they are isolated from regions rich in sebaceous glands. They have been associated with dermatological diseases such as seborrheic dermatitis, pityriasis versicolor, atopic dermatitis, and folliculitis. The genomes of Malassezia globosa, Malassezia sympodialis, and Malassezia pachydermatis lack the genes related to fatty acid synthesis. Here, the lipid-synthesis pathways of these species, as well as of Malassezia furfur, and of an atypical M. furfur variant were reconstructed using genome data and Constraints Based Reconstruction and Analysis. To this end, the genomes of M. furfur CBS 1878 and the atypical M. furfur 4DS were sequenced and annotated. The resulting Enzyme Commission numbers and predicted reactions were similar to the other Malassezia strains despite the differences in their genome size. Proteomic profiling was utilized to validate flux distributions. Flux differences were observed in the production of steroids in M. furfur and in the metabolism of butanoate in M. pachydermatis. The predictions obtained via these metabolic reconstructions also suggested defects in the assimilation of palmitic acid in M. globosa, M. sympodialis, M. pachydermatis, and the atypical variant of M. furfur, but not in M. furfur. These predictions were validated via physiological characterization, showing the predictive power of metabolic network reconstructions to provide new clues about the metabolic versatility of Malassezia.
Project description:Clinical mycoses treatment is associated with issues such as negative side effects, high cost, prolonged treatment, and resistant strain selection. Malassezia pachydermatis is the most frequently isolated yeast in cases of canine otitis and dermatitis. The number of fungal strains exhibiting primary resistance to several drugs in vitro is increasing. Propolis has a diverse chemical composition and well-known therapeutic properties against mycoses. An alternative method for producing propolis extracts using supercritical fluid has higher selectivity, yielding extracts with fewer pollutant residues. This study therefore aimed to evaluate the in vitro susceptibility profile of M. pachydermatis clinical isolates to precharacterized supercritical and ethanolic extracts. Three types of Brazilian propolis extracts (green, red, and brown) and commercial allopathic antifungals were used in this investigation. We used the microdilution broth technique to evaluate the susceptibility profile of the yeasts. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the brown propolis ethanolic extract was ?16 ?g/mL for all isolates. The MICs of fluconazole, ketoconazole, itraconazole, and amphotericin B ranged from 8 to >64 ?g/mL, 0.032-4 ?g/mL, 0.0313-16 ?g/mL, and 1-2 ?g/mL, respectively. The MICs of ethanolic red propolis extracts were lower than those of supercritical red propolis extracts. However, the green propolis ethanolic extract had more pronounced fungicidal activity. Isolates with lower susceptibility to commercial fungicides were inhibited by red and green propolis extracts. These results indicate that propolis can potentially be used in in vivo experiments as a promising therapeutic agent against M. pachydermatis infections.
Project description:Reference methods for antifungal susceptibility testing of yeasts have been developed by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) and the European Committee on Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST). These methods are intended to test the main pathogenic yeasts that cause invasive infections, namely Candida spp. and Cryptococcusneoformans, while testing other yeast species introduces several additional problems in standardization not addressed by these reference procedures. As a consequence, a number of procedures have been employed in the literature to test the antifungal susceptibility of Malassezia pachydermatis. This has resulted in conflicting results. The aim of the present study is to review the procedures and the technical parameters (growth media, inoculum preparation, temperature and length of incubation, method of reading) employed for susceptibility testing of M. pachydermatis, and when possible, to propose recommendations for or against their use. Such information may be useful for the future development of a reference assay.
Project description:Malassezia yeasts are lipid dependent and part of the human and animal skin microbiome. However, they are also associated with a variety of dermatological conditions and even cause systemic infections. How these yeasts can live as commensals on the skin and switch to a pathogenic stage has long been a matter of debate. Lipids are important cellular molecules, and understanding the lipid metabolism and composition of Malassezia species is crucial to comprehending their biology and host-microbe interaction. Here, we investigated the lipid composition of Malassezia strains grown to the stationary phase in a complex Dixon medium broth. In this study, we perform a lipidomic analysis of a subset of species; in addition, we conducted a gene prediction analysis for the detection of lipid metabolic proteins. We identified 18 lipid classes and 428 lipidic compounds. The most commonly found lipids were triglycerides (TAG), sterol (CH), diglycerides (DG), fatty acids (FAs), phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), ceramides, cholesteryl ester (CE), sphingomyelin (SM), acylcarnitine, and lysophospholipids. Particularly, we found a low content of CEs in Malassezia furfur, atypical M. furfur, and Malassezia pachydermatis and undetectable traces of these components in Malassezia globosa, Malassezia restricta, and Malassezia sympodialis. Remarkably, uncommon lipids in yeast, like diacylglyceryltrimethylhomoserine and FA esters of hydroxyl FAs, were found in a variable concentration in these Malassezia species. The latter are bioactive lipids recently reported to have antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory properties. The results obtained can be used to discriminate different Malassezia species and offer a new overview of the lipid composition of these yeasts. We could confirm the presence and the absence of certain lipid-biosynthesis genes in specific species. Further analyses are necessary to continue disclosing the complex lipidome of Malassezia species and the impact of the lipid metabolism in connection with the host interaction.
Project description:The opportunistic pathogen Malassezia pachydermatis causes bloodstream infections in preterm infants or individuals with immunodeficiency disorders and has been associated with a broad spectrum of diseases in animals such as seborrheic dermatitis, external otitis and fungemia. The current approaches to treat these infections are failing as a consequence of their adverse effects, changes in susceptibility and antifungal resistance. Thus, the identification of novel therapeutic targets against M. pachydermatis infections are highly relevant. Here, Gene Essentiality Analysis and Flux Variability Analysis was applied to a previously reported M. pachydermatis metabolic network to identify enzymes that, when absent, negatively affect biomass production. Three novel therapeutic targets (i.e., homoserine dehydrogenase (MpHSD), homocitrate synthase (MpHCS) and saccharopine dehydrogenase (MpSDH)) were identified that are absent in humans. Notably, L-lysine was shown to be an inhibitor of the enzymatic activity of MpHCS and MpSDH at concentrations of 1?mM and 75?mM, respectively, while L-threonine (1?mM) inhibited MpHSD. Interestingly, L- lysine was also shown to inhibit M. pachydermatis growth during in vitro assays with reference strains and canine isolates, while it had a negligible cytotoxic activity on HEKa cells. Together, our findings form the bases for the development of novel treatments against M. pachydermatis infections.
Project description:Malassezia spp. have rarely been reported in rodents and lagomorphs. In 2011, Malassezia cuniculi was described in two rabbits. Further microscopic studies showed M. cuniculi-like yeasts in more than 50% of samples from rabbits' ear canals, but no isolation was made. The present study details the presence of Malassezia spp. and tries to typify it from ear canals of healthy rabbits. Seventy-eight half-breed rabbits from rural farms and 98 companion dwarf rabbits from northern Italy were considered. A first attempt to screen ear swabs was performed by microscopic and cultural examination on Sabouraud Glucose Agar (SGA), modified Dixon Agar (mDA) and Leeming and Notman Agar (LNA). Additionally, ear swabs from eight further microscopically positive rabbits for M. cuniculi-like cells, were used for both isolation on LNA medium and nine of its variants and for DNA extraction, PCR and sequencing. The microscopic observation of the swabs of the screened 168 rabbits highlighted the presence of yeasts in one or both of the external ear canals of 98 rabbits (58.3%). Rabbits used for meat production were more frequently diagnosed positive than pet rabbits (P = 0.001), and young ones were more often positive compared to rabbits older than 3 months (P = 0.027). No yeast growth was observed in culture. From the eight selected rabbits, Malassezia isolation failed both on LNA and on the modified mediums. Sequences of ~300 bp fragments of 18s rDNA, obtained by PCR from swabs, showed 99.9% identity with Malassezia phylotype 131 described from human ear canals. As Malassezia-like yeasts have been observed in more than half of the examined population, its colonization of ear meatus can be considered as physiological in rabbits. The results outline how much remains to be discovered on Malassezia as a component of the skin mycobiota of rabbits and that the use of the culture examination alone is not the best choice to detect Malassezia-like yeasts in rabbits.
Project description:This case reports the efficacy of metaflumizone plus amitraz spot-on formulation (ProMeris Duo(R); Fort Dodge) against generalized demodectic mange. A two year-old male dog presented at clinical examination with poor general condition, diffused alopecia, crusted lesions, pruritus, skin scales and pustules. Demodex mites, Malassezia pachydermatis yeasts and bacteria were diagnosed. The dog was treated with cephalexin and topically with metaflumizone plus amitraz spot on formulation at two weeks intervals until two consecutive skin scrapings resulted negative for mites. The number of adult mites statistically decreased at follow-up with a reduction of approximately 42 and 94% at +14 and +28 days post treatment (p.t.) respectively. Nymphs and larvae could not be detected from +28 day p.t. while eggs were no longer present +42 day p.t. The dog was negative for both bacteria and M. pachydermatis at 14 days p.t., coinciding with improved general clinical conditions, recovering skin lesions and no further signs of pruritus. These results show that metaflumizone plus amitraz associated with the antibiotic therapy is highly effective for treating generalized demodectic mange and could also be effective toward controlling M. pachydermatis opportunistic infections.