Volume 9 - تابستان 85-                   mjms 2010, 9 - تابستان 85-: 65-73 | Back to browse issues page

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Assistant Professor of Medical Mycology, Department of Parasitology, Mycology Section, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
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Introduction: Malassezia has been reported as the cause of sometimes fatal, systemic infections in premature neonates. The soure of the infecting strain in these cases is uncertain, since neonates have limited numbers of Malassezia on their skin, it may be from the hands of healthcare workers and family. The aim of this study was to examine how long Malassezia was able to survive in the environment and how easily it could be transferred between people to determine by what routes neonates could become colonised. Method: Suspensions of Malassezia sympodialis, M.globosa and M.restreicta (104/ml) were prepared in wash fluid (PBS with 0.05% [v/v] Triton X-100, pH 7.9), dispensed onto a pre-measured area of wooden bench, steel, cotton or plastic and allowed to dry. Samples were then taken at regular intervals unsing the williamson and Kligman scrub technique or by immersing the containing milk (Leeming and Notman, 1987). To determine the amount of Malassezia transfering between people, the suspensions of the species were inocluated onto the palms of volunteers and allowed to dry. The volunteer then shook hands with a second volunteer and the number of Malassezia transferred was determind using the Williamson and Kligman technique. Results: The pattern of survival on wood, cotton and plastic was similar for both M.globosa and M. sympodialis, with viable organisms recovered up to 48h after inoculation. For M.restricta a very different pattern was found, with viable organisms only recovered upto 4h after inoculation on all four materials, also transmission from one hand to a second hand was successful in most of the experiments ranging from 0.2-14% of the inoculum. Discusstion: In conclusion, the materials studied are likely to be present in the hospital environment and may well act as reservoirs of Malassezia once contaminated. In this way they could act as vehicles by which Malassezia could be transferred onto neonatal skin and thus initiate an infection in suitably predisposed individuals. These result, seem to be very important for our understanding as to how neonates become colonised and for the epidemiology of neonatal infections.
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Received: 2006/07/12 | Accepted: 2006/08/12

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