Latin name: Malassezia spp.
Members of the yeast genus Malassezia (previously designated Pityrosporum) are believed to be a contributing factor in the atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome (AEDS). The yeast cell involvement in the disease mechanism is not fully understood, but probably includes interaction between APCs such as Langerhans cells and the yeast or its allergenic components. Antigen presentation to other cells in the immune system will then occur, causing a T cell response and IgE
production. Testing for IgE antibodies to Malassezia, as well as SPT and atopy patch testing with Malassezia can therefore be useful tools in the investigation of the disease. As there are several Malassezia species, the use of allergen preparations from only one species may not be sufficient to detect IgE antibodies to Malassezia in all sensitized patients. To obtain an optimal allergen source of all relevant Malassezia spp. both common allergenic components and speciesspecific allergens have to be considered. In the future even more representative measurements of IgE sensitization may be accomplished by the use of recombinant allergens.
More information will soon be available.