Detection and identification of Malassezia species in domestic animals and aquatic birds by PCR-RFLP

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Department of Basic Sciences, Khorasgan (Isfahan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Researches (Isfahan Center), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Animal Sciences, Khorasgan (Isfahan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran


The present study aimed at detection and species-level identification of the Malassezia yeasts in domestic animals and aquatic birds by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). Samples were collected using tape strips and swabs from 471 animals including 97 horses, 102 cattle, 105 sheep, 20 camels, 60 dogs, 30 cats, 1 hamster, 1 squirrel, 50 aquatic birds and 5 turkeys. Tape-strip samples were examined by direct microscopy. All samples were inoculated on modified Leeming and Notman agar medium. DNA extracted from the yeast colonies was amplified by PCR using primers specific for 26S rDNA. RFLP of the PCR products was performed using Hin6I enzyme, and PCR and RFLP products were visualized by agarose gel electrophoresis. Malassezia yeasts were detected at the following frequencies: 15.46% in horses, 12.74% in cattle, 12.38% in sheep, 28.33% in dogs, 26.66% in cats and 26% in aquatic birds. Eighty colonies of 6 species were isolated: Malassezia globosa 41.25%, Malassezia furfur 22.5%, Malassezia restricta 15%, Malassezia sympodialis 15%, Malassezia pachydermatis 5% and Malassezia slooffiae 1.25%. Therefore different lipophilic Malassezia species are found in a wide diversity of animals and aquatic birds. PCR-RFLP is a suitable technique for identification of different Malassezia species.