Study of the variation of the Malassezia load in the interdigital fold of dogs with pododermatitis

Leyna Díaz, Gemma Castellá, M. Rosa Bragulat, Andreu Paytuví-Gallart, Walter Sanseverino, Francisco Javier Cabañes Saenz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The yeast Malassezia pachydermatis is a common inhabitant of the skin and mucosae of dogs. However, under certain circumstances this yeast can overgrow and act as an opportunistic pathogen causing otitis and dermatitis in dogs. Canine pododermatitis is a common disorder in dogs in which M. pachydermatis acts as an opportunistic pathogen. In the present study, the presence of Malassezia yeasts was assessed and quantified in samples collected from the interdigital space of dogs with pododermatitis before and after treatment, and from healthy dogs. The samples were subjected to two different cytological examinations, culture on Sabouraud glucose agar and modified Dixon's agar and a quantitative PCR targeting the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) genomic region. A selection of samples was analyzed by next generation sequencing (NGS) using the D1D2 domain of the large subunit of the ribosomal DNA as target. The pododermatitis samples before treatment showed higher cell counts, colony-forming units and ITS copies than the rest of samples. The NGS analysis revealed that Ascomycota was the main phylum in the healthy and post-treatment samples. However, Basidiomycota and M. pachydermatis was more abundant in the pododermatitis samples before treatment. These results support M. pachydermatis as an opportunistic agent in canine pododermatitis by a variety of methods, and demonstrate the correlation between cytologic and molecular methods for quantification.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalVeterinary Research Communications
Early online date15 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2022


  • Interdigital fold
  • M. pachydermatis
  • Malassezia
  • Mycobiome
  • Pododermatitis
  • CATS


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