ERG11 Gene Variability and Azole Susceptibility in Malassezia pachydermatis

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Malassezia pachydermatis is part of the normal skin microbiota of various animal species but under certain circumstances becomes an opportunistic pathogen producing otitis and dermatitis. Commonly these Malassezia diseases are effectively treated using azoles. However, some cases of treatment failure have been reported. Alterations in the ERG11 gene have been associated with in vitro azole resistance in M. pachydermatis. In the present study, in vitro antifungal susceptibility of 89 different strains of M. pachydermatis isolated from different animal species and health status was studied. The susceptibility to fluconazole (FLZ), itraconazole (ITZ), ketoconazole and amphotericin B was tested by a disk diffusion method and 17 strains were also subjected to an ITZ E-test. Mueller–Hinton supplemented with 2% glucose and methylene blue was used as culture medium in both susceptibility assays. Multilocus sequence typing was performed in 30 selected strains using D1D2, ITS, CHS2 and β-tubulin genes. Also, ERG11 gene was sequenced. The four antifungals tested were highly effective against most of the strains. Only two strains showed no inhibition zone to antifungals and a strain showed an increased MIC to ITZ. The study of the ERG11 sequences revealed a high diversity of DNA sequences and a total of 23 amino acid substitutions, from which only two have been previously described. Also, three deleterious substitutions (A302T, G459D and G461D) previously associated with azole resistance in this yeast were recovered. A correlation between certain genotypes and ERG11 mutations was observed. Some of the ERG11 mutations recovered were correlated with a reduced susceptibility to azoles.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date10 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2022


  • Antifungal susceptibility
  • Azole drugs
  • ERG11 mutations
  • Malassezia pachydermatis


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