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J. Clin. Med. 2015, 4(6), 1217-1228; doi:10.3390/jcm4061217

The Role of Malassezia spp. in Atopic Dermatitis

Allergy Unit, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Zurich, Gloriastrasse 31, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sebastien Barbarot and Kim Thomas
Received: 12 March 2015 / Revised: 19 May 2015 / Accepted: 22 May 2015 / Published: 29 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology and Treatment of Atopic Eczema)
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Abstract

Malassezia spp. is a genus of lipophilic yeasts and comprises the most common fungi on healthy human skin. Despite its role as a commensal on healthy human skin, Malassezia spp. is attributed a pathogenic role in atopic dermatitis. The mechanisms by which Malassezia spp. may contribute to the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis are not fully understood. Here, we review the latest findings on the pathogenetic role of Malassezia spp. in atopic dermatitis (AD). For example, Malassezia spp. produces a variety of immunogenic proteins that elicit the production of specific IgE antibodies and may induce the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. In addition, Malassezia spp. induces auto-reactive T cells that cross-react between fungal proteins and their human counterparts. These mechanisms contribute to skin inflammation in atopic dermatitis and therefore influence the course of this disorder. Finally, we discuss the possible benefit of an anti-Malassezia spp. treatment in patients with atopic dermatitis. View Full-Text
Keywords: atopic dermatitis; Malassezia spp.; IgE antibodies; cytokines; auto-reactive T cells atopic dermatitis; Malassezia spp.; IgE antibodies; cytokines; auto-reactive T cells
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Glatz, M.; Bosshard, P.P.; Hoetzenecker, W.; Schmid-Grendelmeier, P. The Role of Malassezia spp. in Atopic Dermatitis. J. Clin. Med. 2015, 4, 1217-1228.

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