Ketoconazole inhibits Malassezia furfur morphogenesis in vitro under filamentation optimized conditions
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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.
KeywordsMalassezia 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.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.
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