Ann Dermatol.  2022 Apr;34(2):118-124. 10.5021/ad.2022.34.2.118.

Comparative Analysis of Cutaneous Fungi in Atopic Dermatitis Patients and Healthy Individuals

  • 1Departments of Laboratory Medicine, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Departments of Dermatology, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic relapsing inflammatory skin disease triggered by diverse factors. Microbes are one of the crucial risk factors for AD development or exacerbation. However, the effect of a fungal burden on AD has been overlooked compared to bacteria.
This study aimed to comparatively analyze cutaneous fungal distribution between AD patients and healthy individuals by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based analysis.
Skin samples of AD outpatients and healthy individuals collected at the ChungAng University were analyzed. Representative AD-associated fungal genera, Candida, dermatophytes, and Malassezia, were analyzed using specific primer and amplification methods. Amplicons were sequenced, and the fungal distribution of both groups were compared.
Totally, 211 patients and 23 healthy individuals were studied. Of the 211 patients, 10.90% (23/211) had Candida species, whereas 0% (0/23) healthy individuals showed its presence. The most frequently detected species in patients was Candida albicans (5.21%) followed by Candida parapsilosis (3.79%). For dermatophytes, 1.42% (3/211) of patients showed positive results, whereas 0% (0/23) healthy individuals showed positive results. Malassezia species were identified in 20.85% (44/211) and 8.70% (2/23) in patients and healthy individuals, respectively. Malassezia restricta was the most frequently identified species in the AD patient group, and the only species found in the healthy control group.
The distribution of Candida spp., dermatophytes, and Malassezia spp. are altered with AD development.


Arthrodermataceae; Atopic dermatitis; Candida; Fungi; Malassezia
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