What is the role of lab tests in the workup of Malassezia (Pityrosporum) folliculitis?

Updated: Apr 03, 2020
  • Author: Sarah Sweeney Pinney, MD, FAAD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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A potassium hydroxide (KOH) preparation may be helpful for microscopic identification of the yeasts associated with Pityrosporum folliculitis (PF).

Culturing and identification of the organism are rarely performed, and the tests usually are not available. For Malassezia yeasts to grow, olive oil must be added to the culture media. This is not a routine study for the mycology laboratory.

Shibata et al report the presence of galactomannan on cells of Malassezia species, which they suggest has not previously been reported in the literature. Results of their comparative antibody reaction studies lead them to suggest the potential for antigen detection as a diagnostic tool in Malassezia infection. [29]

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