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Occurrence and distribution of Malassezia species on skin and external ear canal of horses

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The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Malassezia species from the body skin and external ear canal of healthy horses. The samples were obtained by scraping the skin surface from the nose, groin and dorsum and swabbing from the external ear canal of 163 animals, and then incubated on sabouraud dextrose agar and modified Dixon agar. Malassezia species were isolated from 34.9% of horses. The percentages of Malassezia species were 64.3% for Arab, 35.7% for Persian, 35.4% for Thoroughbred and 27.1% for Turkmen breeds. The greatest abundance of Malassezia species was found in the external ear canal (47.7%, representing significant difference with other sites), followed by nose (26.3%), groin (15.8%) and dorsum (10.5%) (P < 0.05). A total of 57 strains from six Malassezia species were detected with a frequency rate as follows: M. pachydermatis (33.3%), M. globosa (26.3%), M. sympodialis (14.1%), M. restricta (10.5%), M. obtusa (8.8%) and M. furfur (7%). The most common age‐group affected was 1–3 years (59.4%). This study confirmed that cutaneous Malassezia microbiota in healthy horses varies by body site and age but not by breed and gender, representing M. pachydermatis as the most prevalent species on horse skin.
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Keywords: Healthy horse; Malassezia; body skin; microflora; thoroughbred

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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