Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 309, Issue 1, pp 47–53 | Cite as

Ketoconazole inhibits Malassezia furfur morphogenesis in vitro under filamentation optimized conditions

  • Sirida Youngchim
  • Joshua D. Nosanchuk
  • Siriporn Chongkae
  • Nongnuch Vanittanokom
Original Paper


Malassezia furfur, a constituent of the normal human skin flora, is an etiological agent of pityriasis versicolor, which represents one of the most common human skin diseases. Under certain conditions, both exogenous and endogenous, the fungus can transition from a yeast form to a pathogenic mycelial form. To develop a standardized medium for reproducible production of the mycelial form of M. furfur to develop and optimize susceptibility testing for this pathogen, we examined and characterized variables, including kojic acid and glycine concentration, agar percentage, and pH, to generate a chemically defined minimal medium on which specific inoculums of M. furfur generated the most robust filamentation. Next, we examined the capacity of ketoconazole to inhibit the formation of M. furfur mycelial form. Both low and high, 0.01, 0.05 and 0.1 µg/ml concentrations of ketoconazole significantly inhibited filamentation at 11.9, 54.5 and 86.7%, respectively. Although ketoconazole can have a direct antifungal effect on both M. furfur yeast and mycelial cells, ketoconazole also has a dramatic impact on suppressing morphogenesis. Since mycelia typified the pathogenic form of Malassezia infection, the capacity of ketoconazole to block morphogenesis may represent an additional important effect of the antifungal.


Malassezia furfur Morphogenesis Ketoconazole Filament 



This study was financially supported by the Research Fund of the Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand. JDN is partly supported by NIH AI52733.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sirida Youngchim
    • 1
  • Joshua D. Nosanchuk
    • 2
  • Siriporn Chongkae
    • 1
  • Nongnuch Vanittanokom
    • 1
  1. 1.Department Microbiology, Faculty of MedicineChiang Mai UniversityChiang MaiThailand
  2. 2.Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)Albert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA

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