Molecular Analysis of Malassezia Species Isolated from Hospitalized Neonates


Address correspondence to Kamiar Zomorodain, Ph.D., Department of Medical Mycology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran, or email:


Abstract: Malassezia species are a part of the skin microflora of neonates. Under certain circumstances, they can cause diseases ranging from simple pustulosis to lifethreatening fungemia in newborn infants. Little information is available about the epidemiology of Malassezia species in neonates. In the present study, we successfully isolated Malassezia yeasts from 68.7% of hospitalized neonates. Using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method (PCR-RFPL), M. furfur (88.06%) was identified as the most isolated species, followed in frequency by M. globosa (10.48%), M. obtusa (0.73%), and M. slooffiae (0.73%). Among the variables studied, only a longer stay in the ward resulted in a higher colonization rate. Using multiple logistic regression, only the type of hospital and ward had some effects on the colonization rate. Our results supported the hypothesis that neonates acquire Malassezia flora through direct contact with their mothers or hospital personnel.