• atopic eczema dermatitis syndrome;
  • Malassezia furfur;
  • Candida albicans;
  • mannan;
  • IgE;
  • skin prick test

Background:  Elevated and correlative Malassezia furfur (M. furfur) and Candida albicans (C. albicans) mannan-specific IgE have been demonstrated in atopic eczema dermatitis syndrome (AEDS) of the head, neck and shoulder (HNS) region of the skin. The significance of these antibodies in vivo has not been demonstrated.

Methods:  Sixty-five AEDS patients with HNS distribution were included. Serum total IgE (S-IgE) and yeast antigen-specific (Cetavlon-purified mannan and whole extract antigens of M. furfur and C. albicans) IgE were measured and skin prick tests (SPT) were performed with the yeast antigens.

Results:  Mannan-specific IgE and SPT were positive in 51 and 48% of patients with M. furfur and in 42 and 22% with C. albicans, respectively. Whole extract-specific IgE and SPT were positive in 85 and 95% of patients with M. furfur and in 91 and 57% with C. albicans, respectively. The highest correlation between specific IgE and SPT was seen with M. furfur mannan (r = 0.60; P < 0.0001). Both M. furfur mannan-specific IgE (r = 0.76; P < 0.0001) and SPT (r = 0.44; P = 0.0005) correlated with S-IgE.

Conclusions:  Mannan-induced immediate hypersensitivity in vivo was demonstrated in SPT. The significant correlation between M. furfur mannan-specific IgE and SPT suggests that mannan is an important allergen in yeast hypersensitive AEDS in vivo.